EDWARDS SEALS FRONT ROW START AT SHANGHAI Camel Yamaha Team rider Colin Edwards will start from the front row of the MotoGP grid in tomorrow's Grand Prix of China after setting the third fastest time in a dramatic single qualifying session today.
EDWARDS SEALS FRONT ROW START AT SHANGHAI
Camel Yamaha Team rider Colin Edwards will start from the front row of the MotoGP grid in tomorrow's Grand Prix of China after setting the third fastest time in a dramatic single qualifying session today. After battling through torrentially wet conditions yesterday, the riders enjoyed a cloudy but dry free practice this morning as they sought to find a suitable dry set-up for their machines. The afternoon started in similar conditions but a brief rain shower midway through the session confined the riders to a tense spell in their pit garages before a thrilling late shootout for grid positions.
Whilst Edwards battled for the top spot with eventual pole setter Dani Pedrosa (Honda) and second-fastest John Hopkins (Suzuki), his Camel Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi was unable to repeat the kind of form that saw him dominate proceedings in the wet conditions yesterday. The Italian was one of several riders to struggle with a lack of dry practice time as he looked to iron out set-up problems and find his pace. He now faces another battle through the pack after setting the 13th fastest time, meaning he will start from the fifth row of the grid.
COLIN EDWARDS (3rd; 1'59.383, 15 laps)
"This has been a really strange weekend because we started off by finding a setting for the wet and then converted it to the dry -- usually it is the other way around! I felt so comfortable with the bike yesterday and I was disappointed when I saw that I was down in thirteenth, but I knew the reason for that and I was really confident about today. I can't really explain why we were off the pace in Turkey but have been right on it here in China, because we have hardly touched anything with the bike, just played around with the suspension. We've got some chatter in certain areas of the track but it's worse when the grip is good, especially when we put a qualifying tyre on. On race rubber you can hardly notice it so I think we have a good setting to go the distance tomorrow and I am happy with my tyre choice. I've had some decent starts to races so far this season but haven't been able to maintain the pace, so hopefully I can turn that around tomorrow. It feels good to be back on the front row."
VALENTINO ROSSI (13th; 2'00.720, 18 laps)
"For sure we have a lot of problems and it's disappointing to be back in this position again after such a good day yesterday. When the grip becomes normal again, like today, we have a lot of chatter and it's very hard to ride the bike. Really this situation is quite bad, as the chatter has returned again today and it is similar to how it was in Jerez. Now we have to start from the fifth row and so it's going to be a very hard race. We have talked a lot tonight in the garage and now we will try some things in the morning during warm-up and hope that we can make some final improvements. Now I need to ride a defensive race, try not to make any mistakes and try to take as many points as possible."
DAVIDE BRIVIO -- CAMEL YAMAHA TEAM DIRECTOR
"A very good result for Colin -- it's been a while since he was on the front row so it is good to see him back there. He seems much more comfortable on the bike and it's good to see that he is able to ride it so effectively. Unfortunately Valentino wasn't able to follow up his good performance from yesterday with a similar result today, so we will have to take a look at the data with the engineers and try to come up with some ideas for the warm-up tomorrow."