Colin Edwards and James Toseland handed the Tech 3 Yamaha squad a well deserved second successive double top six finish in Sunday's Catalunya MotoGP race.
A fantastic start thrust Edwards right into the heat of the battle for second in the early laps
as he pursued reigning world champion Casey Stoner and Andrea Dovizioso. He managed to hold off Valentino Rossi until lap eight, and proving he is one of the most consistent performers in 2008, he comfortably scored a third successive top five finish.
Fifth place equalled his previous best result at the Montmelo circuit as the Texan maintained his best start to a season in his MotoGP career.
James Toseland treated a record crowd of 113,150 to another stunning exhibition of overtaking after he dropped to 11th on lap eight. Once he'd got comfortable with a revised front-end setting, Toseland passed Chris Vermeulen, Nicky Hayden, Alex de Angelis and Loris Capirossi. Only Valentino Rossi made more passes in the 25-lap encounter, and Toseland's fourth top six finish in just seven races drew special praise from the seven-times world champion, who has been impressed with the British rider's rapid progress in his rookie campaign.
Sunday's 21-point haul kept Tech 3 Yamaha in third place in the Team World Championship standings heading to Toseland's home race at Donington Park on June 22.
Colin Edwards 5th – 69 points
"I got a fantastic start and thought ‘brilliant here we go.' But from the second corner I had a problem and to be honest we are scratching our heads a little bit. I struggled because early on I was doing low 43s but then I just couldn't maintain that pace.
I'd throw the bike in on the brakes but it would be sideways and I found myself having to change my style like I did in Mugello to help. I'd stop it hard on the brakes, turn it into the corner and then pick it up to accelerate, but in some places where I would normally use second gear I was using third to baby it out of the corners. I did everything I could possibly do too hang in with the group but Andrea just seemed to have a bit more grip than me on the rear. He was able to pull away a little bit on every lap. I could catch him on the brakes but then I'd lose that crucial bit of time on the exit. What we ran in the warm-up was going to be too soft for the race with the temperature but I'm still happy with fifth. It's one of the best results I've had here and now we go to Donington and Assen. They are two tracks I love and I'm sure I'm going to be fighting for the podium again. We kept third in the team championship, which is great for the Tech 3 team, Yamaha and Michelin.”
James Toseland 6th – 53 points
“I'm a little bit mad with myself because like in Mugello, I believe there was a fourth here. I got an okay start and was about seventh but Valentino came by in the first corner. It was a clean move but he left it late, so we were side-by-side going in and there was no way I could turn in because he was there. There was nothing wrong with the pass but I had to go straight on and that lost me the gap. Whether you are doing the same times as the rest of them or not, you can only pull back small amounts of time. We changed the bike this morning and it took a couple of laps to get used to the feel of it. I'd been running soft tyres most of the weekend doing good lap times but going a bit harder for the race, I just didn't have as much grip at the start and it took me a couple of laps to get used to it and I didn't push it hard enough. At this point I'm content with where I am but I'm getting impatient because I feel I can do better, so that's why I'm a bit disappointed with sixth. If I finish sixth and know I couldn't do anymore I'm happy, but now I feel there is more in the bag. But we have really got this new setting working well and it will be a really good package at Donington where I can't wait to go. It's my first home Grand Prix and it feels a long time since I've been to a track I know. I'm getting regular top six finishes but the target at Donington will be to finish much higher and I'm confident with Tech 3, Yamaha and Michelin I can do it."
Herve Poncharal – Team Manager
“After the warm-up, if somebody said we would be fifth and sixth I'd have said we were looking for better based on practice, but looking at the race that was a very positive result and I'm very happy. Once again Colin and James put in their maximum effort and both have finished in the top six. Dani was on another planet today so congratulations to Michelin, but in the early laps Colin was able to run a strong pace and was right in contention, but at one stage he decided to secure a well deserved fifth place. James lost quite a lot of ground at the start but as usual, once he found his pace he was as quick as the group in front of him and was able to fight his way back. Mugello and Barcelona are two very difficult tracks but Colin and James have scored top six finishes in both, so a big thanks to Yamaha and Michelin. We have scored another big haul of points to keep Tech 3 third in the team world championship, and that is a great achievement after seven races. Now we go to James' home race with a strong and positive feeling, confident we can continue this good run of results. Donington and Assen are also good tracks for Colin, so we have a lot to look forward to."