Australian GP: Tech 3 Yamaha Friday practice report

Strong start for Edwards and Toseland in Phillip Island Colin Edwards and James Toseland made a strong start to the Australian MotoGP weekend today, the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team duo both finishing inside the top seven in opening practice at...

Strong start for Edwards and Toseland in Phillip Island

Colin Edwards and James Toseland made a strong start to the Australian MotoGP weekend today, the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team duo both finishing inside the top seven in opening practice at the spectacular Phillip Island circuit.

Despite gloomy forecasts, today's session was run in sunny but blustery conditions with no repeat of heavy rain that had battered the circuit earlier this week. And Edwards and Toseland took full advantage of the favourable conditions to post competitive lap times throughout the session that bodes well for a strong performance in Sunday's 27-lap race.

Reverting to a front-end setting that he hadn't used since pre-season testing, Texan Edwards lapped in an impressive 1.31.846 to finish fifth quickest, missing out on fourth spot by just 0.060s.

British rider Toseland quickly found his rhythm to sit comfortably in the top six for most of the opening half of the hour-long session. The 28-year-old suffered a small crash at Turn 10 when he lost the front-end of his YZR-M1 machine shortly after the halfway stage.

The tumble did little to dent Toseland's confidence as he bounced back to finish in strong fashion, his best lap of 1.32.255 securing him an encouraging seventh place.

Colin Edwards - Position: 5thTime: 1'31.846 Laps: 24

"I went back to a geometry setting on the front that I haven't tried since we were testing in Malaysia right back at the start of the year. Honestly, I asked what Jorge (Lorenzo) has been running and they said it was the setting I'd used in the Malaysia test. So with it obviously working well for him lately, I decided to give it another go because I really liked it in testing. It's basically just taking a bit of weight off the front compared to what I've been running most of the season. At the start it didn't feel that great but we played around with some spring settings and the feeling was much better. This track is so fast that you've got to make the setting much softer and that's what we did. And it felt much better because once you've got a stable bike underneath you at this track then it becomes a piece of cake. But if the bike is set too hard then it makes it really difficult to ride with such a rigid feeling. I need to thank my guys at Tech 3 because in one hour we got through a lot of work this afternoon to get to where we ended up with the bike. Generally we show up and the bike is in the ballpark, but today we were still out in the car park waiting to get in. But my guys did an amazing job and we can still make it better tomorrow, so I'm confident we can have a strong weekend."

James Toseland - 26 laps Position: 7thTime: 1'32.255 Laps: 31

"I'm satisfied with seventh because we've managed to get some good information on the set-up and I feel I'm in my best position on a Friday for a long time. I was fast right from the off and in the top six for a long period which was really encouraging. My guys worked hard as always to improve the bike and by the end of the session I felt we'd made some real progress. I had a small issue with the balance from front to rear when exiting corners, but we've got some ideas on how to improve that tomorrow. I had a small crash going down the hill after Lukey Heights and that was just a small mistake of mine. I was good in that section of the track and looking to make up some time on the splits where I wasn't quite so fast and I just lost the front. It cost me a bit of time but didn't knock me out of my rhythm too much and by the end I was happy with my times and confident I can be fighting for a top six on Sunday."

-credit: tech 3

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Colin Edwards , James Toseland , Phillip Island
Teams Tech 3