The Malaysian Grand Prix, the penultimate round of the 2007 season, got off to a poor start for Fiat Yamaha Team riders Colin Edwards and Valentino Rossi today, the pair finishing the day a lowly 14th and 16th in the standings.
The combined timesheets were
topped by Randy de Puniet after a best lap of 2'02.917.
With the track having been completely resurfaced since preseason testing the riders spent this morning's session getting a feel for the new surface, with Rossi and Edwards 7th and 15th fastest at the close of the hour. Rain at lunchtime meant this afternoon's session began on a wet track, with the asphalt drying steadily in patches throughout the practice.
Rossi and Edwards worked hard on set-up and tyres but lacked grip throughout and neither rider was able to come up with a magic formula, leaving the team with work to do overnight if they are to be in a position to challenge during tomorrow's qualifying.
“Today was pretty embarrassing to be honest! Michelin have brought me a rear tyre that I know works for me here and there's no problem with that, but unfortunately I've got no grip or confidence in the front. It's not for lack of trying, I'm riding pretty hard out there, but we haven't been able to fix it yet. The new surface doesn't feel good at all, it seems very inconsistent to me, and this is just making things harder. Hopefully it'll improve as more rubber gets laid down tomorrow. We need to have a good look at things tonight and start over again tomorrow.”
“Today has been very hard work for us and it's very disappointing for me to be here, at one of my favourite tracks where we know our bike goes well, in 16th position! We don't have any grip, especially in front, and we were very slow today.
We've tried a lot of tyres and different settings but so far we haven't been able to make much progress. The new asphalt is not so good but we can't blame this because other riders don't seem to have the same problems as we do. We need to find some way to improve things and make the difference for tomorrow, so now we will have a meeting tonight and try to come up with some ideas. Hopefully it will be dry tomorrow because the rain makes it even harder!”
“We definitely have a lot of work to do with both of our riders. This is a track which we know very well and at which we have a great record, but the new surface means the conditions are quite different and we are suffering from a lack of grip. We need to look at what we've found out today and come up with some ideas tonight in order to find a combination of settings and tyres which works on this surface and in these conditions. It's only Friday and hopefully we can make a big step forward with both Valentino and Colin tomorrow morning.”