Things weren't looking too good in the morning at Jerez on Day 3 of the official IRTA MotoGP test as the rain began to fall right when the track opened, soaking the circuit and sending nearly all the riders back into the garages. With the weather forecast not optimistic and rain continuing to fall as lunchtime passed, some riders chose to pack it in, including Dani Pedrosa, who had nothing more to test and was suffering from a return of the neck pain that curtailed his testing at the Circuit of the Americas private test last week (GO&FUN Gresini Honda's Alvaro Bautista-who suffered a hand injury in his crash yesterday-and Ignite Pramac Ducati's Ben Spies who was still recovering from shoulder surgery also chose not to ride on Monday).
But then the skies cleared and the track began to dry out around 2:00pm local time, and by 4:00pm, the circuit tarmac was mostly dry, causing a flurry of activity as riders and teams scurried to get in some final dry testing.
Despite the many damp patches on the Jerez circuit, Monster Yamaha Tech 3's Cal Crutchlow put his head down and used the less than two hours of dry track time on the final day of the MotoGP test to set not only the quickest time for the day, but also the quickest lap for the three-day test, undercutting Valentino Rossi's time from yesterday by 0.014 seconds. Rossi, who was busy testing the new M1 chassis, was second quickest some 0.224 seconds back, with LCR Honda's Stefan Bradl also getting into the 1:39 range for the first time to slot into third. Jorge Lorenzo was 0.130 seconds behind Bradl in fourth, with Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez another 0.025 seconds back in fifth.
"This morning's rain meant the track wasn't in a great condition in the last two hours and I felt I could have definitely gone faster if there was more grip available," remarked Crutchlow about his performance on the final day of the Jerez MotoGP test. "But it's the same for everybody and we came out on top, so that's positive. Each time I tried to improve my pace at the end I came across some traffic, so I've no doubt I could have gone faster. It is a shame we didn't get the chance to get in a lot more dry laps but I have been very fast and consistent and that gives me a lot of confidence for when we return to Jerez for the third race."
MotoGP Jerez test Day 3 results:
1. Cal Crutchlow (GBR) Yamaha 1:39.511
2. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Yamaha 1:39.735
3. Stefan Bradl (GER) Honda 1:39.975
4. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Yamaha 1:40.105
5. Marc Marquez (SPA) Honda 1:40.130
6. Andrea Iannone (ITA) Ducati 1:40.331
7. Nicky Hayden (USA) Ducati 1:40.370
8. Andrea Dovisioso (ITA) Ducati 1:40.516
9. Michele Pirro (ITA) Ducati 1:40.881
10. Randy De Puniet (FRA) ART/Aprilia 1:40.971
11. Bradley Smith (GBR) Yamaha 1:41.134
12. Aleix Espargaro (SPA) ART/Aprilia 1:41.218
13. Claudio Corti (ITA) FTR/Kawasaki 1:41.443
14. Hiroshi Aoyama (JPN) FTR/Kawasaki 1:41.772
15. Lukas Pesek (CZE) Ioda/BMW 1:41.791
16. Karel Abraham (CZE) ART/Aprilia 1:41.864
17. Yonny Hernandez (COL) ART/Aprilia 1:42.363
18. Danilo Petrucci (ITA) Ioda/BMW 1:42.428
19. Michael Laverty (IRL) ART/Aprilia 1:42.470
20. Bryan Staring (AUS) FTR/Honda 1:43.525
21. Colin Edwards (USA) FTR/Kawasaki 1:56.281
22. Hector Barbera (SPA) FTR/Kawasaki 1:56.897