In floodlit Qatar opener
The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team finally ended an eventful Qatar MotoGP weekend with Colin Edwards riding to a brilliant fourth place finish in Monday night's rescheduled opening race.
The race was run nearly 24 hours late after the opening
round of the 2009 world championship was postponed because of a freak desert storm.
Monday night's race went ahead over the scheduled 22-lap distance after Losail International Circuit staff spent the day using specialist vehicles to clear dust and sand off the surface.
Edwards produced one of the best performances of the race in which he was able to showcase his overtaking skills. His stunning surge from ninth on lap one culminated with a pass by Andrea Dovizioso for fourth on lap 14 to ensure Yamaha claimed three of the top four places.
“That was a good start to the season after I made a rubbish start to the race. I thought I'd got a good start but the next thing I know is everybody flying by me. I was way down and it cost me the chance to fight for the podium really. I'm not saying I could have run with Jorge (Lorenzo) because he was riding really well, but it would have been nice to give myself a shot”, he explained. “The track conditions were good considering the rain we had last night and I just concentrated on being smooth and not abusing the tyre too much and it paid off because when I caught (Andrea) Dovizioso I could see he was having some issues. By the time I passed him for fourth, Jorge was long gone and it was going to take a massive mistake from him for me to get close to Jorge but I kept pushing. I'd like to think I could have kept the pace with Jorge if I'd got a good start, but it's easy to say that after the race. The grip from Bridgestone was really good and I'm glad we all stayed and raced. I just want to say thanks to all my guys at Monster Yamaha Tech 3. It has been a long and difficult weekend but we have all pulled together, stayed strong and focused and come out with a good result, so I'm looking forward to another good race in Japan next time out.”
British rider James Toseland looked well set for a top ten challenge as he shadowed Randy de Puniet and Mika Kallio in the early stages. But just as he closed in for an attack, he ran off into the gravel trap at the final corner on lap seven after a tangle with Toni Elias. He got back on track and finished just outside the points in 16th position.
“It has been a difficult weekend to say the least and I know we have got a long way to catch up. This race was almost like a test for me, and like in testing, I didn't have a lot of luck out there.
I felt like I could fight for the top ten but Toni Elias came up the inside of me at the final corner as I was closing on Randy de Puniet and Mika Kallio. He touched me and I went off into the gravel and that left me out of the points unfortunately”, he said. “We tried a different front-end setting for the race to try and solve some stability issues I've been having, and there is plenty of room for improvement. I just need time on the bike and a bit of luck to go my way. My guys have put in a lot of effort this weekend and I'm confident I can get a good result in Japan for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team.”