James Toseland in lucky escape
The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 squad ended its 2009 MotoGP pre-season preparations with a day of contrasting fortunes for Colin Edwards and James Toseland in Jerez.
Edwards finished 10th quickest overall, the Texan posting his best time
of 1.40.305 in the televised 45-minute BMW shootout that was cut short by heavy rainfall.
Edwards was less than 0.2s off a top six finish with his main focus spent working on a front-end setting to help him maximise the potential of the Bridgestone front tyre ahead of the first race in Qatar on April 12.
“I started the timed session and I knew I could do a low 40 but to do a 39 I just didn't have the right set-up. The harder I tried to push I seemed to get more chatter and it was a bit of a speed limit. We've got a good idea of how to make it better and we are just a little bit too hard on the front fork spring”, he explained. “When I saw Casey do a 39.1 on only his third lap, I knew my package wasn't ready to do that and I'm not going to take any risks with the first race so close. I'm happy with the way the winter has gone. Yamaha has done a great job and at every test we have been competitive. I can't wait for the first race to try and get a good start for Monster and Yamaha.”
British rider James Toseland had a lucky escape after he suffered a spectacular crash during the timed BMW session. Toseland fell heavily at Turn Three with 16 minutes remaining while he was in 15th position on the timesheets.
The 28-year-old underwent precautionary scans at hospital in Cadiz this afternoon after suffering concussion in the fall, but having been given the all-clear by doctors, Toseland returned to the Jerez paddock later in the evening.
He will fly home to the UK today to rest and recuperate ahead of the season's opening race under the Losail International Circuit's floodlights.
“It was obviously not the way we wanted to finish what has been a very positive winter for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team”, commented Team Manager Hervé Poncharal. “Firstly, I'd like to thank the team for all their hard work and effort over the winter. I believe we are in a great position to have our best season for a long time, and with our new partner Monster, the future is looking very bright for Tech 3. Colin has done another excellent job for the team and Yamaha here. He never came here to win the car, but he wanted to get more of an understanding of the new bike and the Bridgestone tyres ahead of the first race. I think we can be very optimistic after Colin's performance during the winter of a very good season. I am obviously delighted that James is going to be fit for the first race after another big crash today. It is a real pity for him because he was really looking like his old self this weekend after the crash in Sepang and making some big progress with the bike and the tyres. I'm sure he will be ready and determined to give 100 per cent again in Qatar. All of us can't wait for the first race.”