Australian GP: Tech 3 Yamaha Friday practice report

Toseland and Edwards working hard in wet and dry James Toseland and Colin Edwards once again found themselves battling the elements on an opening day of free practice in Phillip Island dominated by changeable weather conditions. Toseland made a...

Toseland and Edwards working hard in wet and dry

James Toseland and Colin Edwards once again found themselves battling the elements on an opening day of free practice in Phillip Island dominated by changeable weather conditions. Toseland made a strong start in a morning session run in bright and sunny conditions as the British rider lapped at a consistently fast pace to post the 10th quickest time. Toseland, who will celebrate his 28th birthday on Sunday, was only 0.2s off a top three position as he quickly improved a set-up he developed during a successful three-day test session on his Tech 3 Yamaha YZR-M1 back in February. This afternoon's second session though was run in wet and blustery conditions, much more typical of the unpredictable weather that has become a regular feature at the Australian GP. Toseland gradually built up his confidence in the difficult conditions and despite finishing 18th, he is confident of making big improvements should the wet weather return.

Colin Edwards had a promising opening day in preparation for his 100th MotoGP appearance in Phillip Island. The American, who made his premier class debut in 2003, was 12th fastest this morning, just over a tenth off Toseland's impressive pace. He was 10th in the rain and remains confident that in wet or dry conditions he is capable of mounting a top six challenge to mark his 100th race milestone. Forecasts for the remainder of the weekend predict mainly dry conditions, with a small chance of light showers on Sunday.

James Toseland - Position 10th Time - 1.31.277 - 44 laps

"It was really good this morning and I was really happy. We'd found a good direction and the bike was working pretty well. I was only a tenth off third place and I used the same rear tyre for the whole session. We made a change halfway through with the rear shock to get a bit more grip on the exit of corners and it was working well and I could run consistent times. If I'd have had that set-up when the tyre was a bit better then I would have been in the top three and that would have been really encouraging. But in the rain we didn't find anything that improved my feeling. We made plenty of changes but we couldn't get a good direction to solve the problems. I just couldn't get out of the corners and we couldn't cure it. The rear was spinning up as soon as I touched the throttle, so we haven't got the balance of the rear right. At least it is looking dry on the forecasts for tomorrow so we can build on what we found this morning. But for the wet we need to find a new setting. I know the problem we are having but unfortunately we are not curing it. We are all working hard but we'll have a sit down and have a re-think because it is nothing like the feeling I have in the dry. There's not as much grip in the wet but the bike should be feeling pretty similar in terms of balance and it doesn't."

Colin Edwards - Position 12th Time - 1.31.368 - 52 laps

"It was a bit of a strange day because really in both sessions we ran out of time just when we were heading in a direction to make some steps forward. We didn't set the world on fire this morning but I was reasonably happy. In the dry I did a decent lap at the end on a rear tyre that definitely isn't going to be my race tyre, so that's positive knowing we could have made it a lot better. In the rain my comfort level wasn't really high so we can make some improvements. Something is just lacking in the package although we did some decent laps, and if it rains again we got a few ideas to improve the feeling. Michelin had one tyre that is probably one of the hardest we have got, and although this track is notorious for wearing the left side of the tyre, I don't have much feel on the right. Even though there's only really two right-hand corners, it is just hurting my lap time a little bit. I just can't be as smooth as I am normally in the rain. At the end we made a change to the chassis that made the front a lot better, but I'd like to find a bit more of a comfortable feeling with the rear. I feel like I was always chasing the front of the bike to correct the rear sliding around, but I'm pretty confident for whatever the weather throws at us."

-credit: yamaha-racing.com

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