“The atmosphere in the team is very good”
Lining up two new riders for their first test of the 2008 preseason, Yamaha Tech 3 boss Herve Poncharal was an animated figure in the Sepang paddock at the end of last week.
Colin Edwards, who joins the satellite team
in a sideways switch from the factory squad, went round in under both the 2007 pole position and race lap record times, whilst MotoGP debutant James Toseland began his learning process onboard 800cc machinery.
“This test provided a lot of work”, said Poncharal on the second of the three days of testing. “Colin was mainly getting used to the team and trying tyres, whilst James's task was trying to understand the MotoGP bike more. There is a lot to learn and a new team to get to know for him.”
Edwards was an initial guide for superbike champion Toseland at the Malaysian circuit, which the Briton had never ridden before his opening Yamaha appearance. The American showed his 27 year-old apprentice the lines to follow at the wide Sepang circuit on the opening day, something that pleased his new team manager.
“Colin is really motivated, and happy to help James out”, was Poncharal's praise for his rider. “The atmosphere in the team is very good now, and in racing if you can't have fun then you won't get results.”
The riders weren't the only newcomers for Yamaha Tech 3 in Sepang, with the team also incorporating Michelin tyres.
Whilst the team boss was confident with feedback on the new rubber at his disposal, he refused to be drawn into comparisons with former supplier Dunlop.
“I was very pleased to work with Dunlop”, he stated emphatically. “During our project with them, the aim was not to win races but to reach an acceptable level on a par with other manufacturers. I don't want to compare them to Michelin. What I will say is that, from speaking to Colin, Michelin have taken a big step forward from last year already.”
DORNA / CAPSIS International