Toseland 14th in hot Jerez
Colin Edwards rode his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine to a brilliant seventh place in today's Spanish MotoGP qualifying session at a sun-drenched Jerez circuit.
A thrilling 45-minute session run in sunny but breezy conditions saw American
Edwards post a best time of 1.39.926 in the final minute to claim a place on the third row of the grid for tomorrow's 27-lap race.
The 35-year-old encountered some small front-end grip issues this afternoon but was only 0.5s away from a front row start in an exciting session, the top seven riders split by less than a second. Edwards is confident he can be a strong contender in tomorrow's race having set a consistently fast pace throughout practice on his YZR-M1 machine.
“I was really happy with the bike this morning. I was able to run a fast and consistent pace that only the top three were able to better. But we changed a couple of things on the bike for qualifying and it was the wrong direction unfortunately. Those changes probably cost me a place on the second row”, he explained. “I kept tucking the front and that has never happened before on Bridgestone. I've not had the front move on me once since I first tried Bridgestone back in November. The front tyre is magic but for some reason I wasn't comfortable this afternoon. We'll just revert back to the set-up we had this morning for the race because I had no issues at all really. I'm still confident for the race. It is going to be hot and tyre endurance will be crucial as always. I did nine laps on the hard compound and it was spinning but it always does that. It's just how you manage it from that point and I think the setting we had this morning and yesterday will be fine. I'm determined to put on a good show for Mark Hall from Monster Energy and my guys at Tech 3 who have been working hard to give me a good bike as always.”
British rider James Toseland had a frustrating afternoon, a best lap of 1.40.670 leaving the 28-year-old in 14th on the grid for the first European race of 2009. Toseland is still searching for a comfortable set-up on his Yamaha YZR-M1 machine.
He's confident he can run a much faster pace in the race with his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 crew working tirelessly to improve his feeling.
“It has been a frustrating day. We have been working a lot on the bike and when we cure one problem we create another”, he said. “That session was almost like a test than a qualifying session and it is frustrating because I feel like I can definitely run the pace around the top six. I'm just trying to find a compromise between good braking stability and acceleration exiting corners. We seem to improve in one area but then sacrifice something in another area. My pace wasn't too bad on the hard compound race tyre, so if I can get a good start and get away with the pack in front I'm sure I can have a good race and be in there fighting. We'll definitely be working hard tonight to improve for the race. I'll be giving it my all as always and hope to show Mark Hall how strong the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team is.”
Tomorrow's race will carry extra importance for the Tech 3 Team, with Monster Energy President Mark Hall making a special visit to the Spanish MotoGP race, which is traditionally one of the showpiece events on the calendar.