Cal Crutchlow has expressed doubt Tech 3 Yamaha would remain as the top satellite team in MotoGP due to the factory support Honda is providing to LCR and Gresini in 2013. Opinion on whether Crutchlow is showing his cards or cloaking the situation vary but it does seem as if Cruchlow will have a more difficult time reaching the podium in 2013 given the current world order in MotoGP.
Stefan Bradl at LCR and Alvaro Bautista at Gresini will ride factory RC213V bikes this season, as Honda will join Ducati with four works machines on the grid. Yamaha will be the only team with just two factory machines in 2013, for Yamaha Racing riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi.
"We haven't got anything new: the bike (at the Sepang test last week) was exactly the same bike that we raced in Valencia last year," Crutchlow said.
Crutchlow still ended up fifth overall last week in Sepang testing despite riding pure satellite machinery. Only the top four factory riders - Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez of Repsol Honda and Lorenzo and Rossiwere quicker.
"It's a good and a bad thing," Crutchlow said. "Obviously, we want some stuff to improve but also to familiarize yourself with the bike, it will do for now. We will see what we can get for the second test. We need Yamaha to be helping us out there, as well."
But Crutchlow thinks the deeper distribution of factory machinery this season will create a more competitive grid.
"This year I think seven or eight guys could win a race," Crutchlow said. "We sat down as a team and said it's going to be a war."