With the official Sepang test days, organised in the first week of February, excitement is slowly rising for the new MotoGP season! The hot and humid climate of the Malaysian circuit hosted the teams which had come to test their new machines adapted to the new regulations which have increased the cubic capacity from 800 to 1,000 cm3. A major player in the motorcycle world, Motul is of course present in this championship by providing its technical partnership to team Monster Yamaha Tech3. The good news is that alongside Cal Crutchlow, Hervé Poncharal's team has hired Andrea Dovizioso for 2012. After ten years at Honda, the Italian rider has changed scenery for his fifth season in MotoGP, where he has made regular progress to finish third in the championship last year.
In Sepang, the two riders discovered the new Yamaha YZR-M1, which Crutchlow considers 'has kept the strong points of the 800, with a good entry into turns and good behaviour in bends. But we must make progress on the way out of turns.' Meanwhile, Dovizioso, suffered from the after-effects of a collarbone fracture three weeks earlier during motocross training which did not prevent him from posting excellent times. 'Despite my collarbone I was able to ride here every day, which allowed me to understand the motorcycle well. I will still have to alter my style a bit, to make the most of the qualities of this machine that's very different from the Honda I rode these past four years.' There are still two months to adjust the set-ups before the start scheduled for 8 April at the Qatar circuit.