EDWARDS MAKES PODIUM RETURN IN GRUELLING SHANGHAI AFFAIR Camel Yamaha Team rider Colin Edwards charged from the front row of the grid to the podium today with a determined performance in the Grand Prix of China. Whilst his team-mate Valentino ...
EDWARDS MAKES PODIUM RETURN IN GRUELLING SHANGHAI AFFAIR
Camel Yamaha Team rider Colin Edwards charged from the front row of the grid to the podium today with a determined performance in the Grand Prix of China. Whilst his team-mate Valentino Rossi was denied the chance to challenge for a top three spot after pulling in with a tyre problem on the sixteenth lap, Edwards reaped the rewards of a blistering start to the race, when he snatched the hole-shot and led the field over the opening stages.
In sunny and warm conditions Edwards set a scorching pace that only a handful of riders were able to follow, but finally succumbed to pressure from Dani Pedrosa (Honda) on lap ten, the young Spaniard forcing his way past and taking his team-mate Nicky Hayden along for company. Rossi, meanwhile, had been making positive progress through the field, working his way up from thirteenth on the grid to fifth place in the race before bad luck struck once again.
The Italian began to feel that there was something wrong with his bike and initially thought it was being caused by the rear tyre. After a swift change he attempted to rejoin the race, only to return to the pits next time around after realising the problem was coming from the front tyre. Edwards consolidated third place for his first podium appearance of the season as Pedrosa held off the challenge of Hayden to clinch his maiden MotoGP win.
COLIN EDWARDS (3rd; + 14.634)
"I got a really good start and just decided to go as fast as I could over the opening laps. I was close to losing control on a couple of occasions but I decided that I'd rather crash out of the lead today than miss my chance of finishing on the podium, which meant I just couldn't back off. I had some chatter and I could only push the bike so hard; if I went any faster than 2'00.7 then the chatter forced me to slow down, so I didn't have much choice but to hang in there! The freight train came past with Dani and Nicky but I couldn't hang on to the back, they were both just too fast. We've had some problems this weekend and I didn't expect to be on the podium but I can't thank my team, Yamaha and Michelin enough for the way they worked to put me in a competitive position. I think I scored my first podium in round four last season too, so hopefully this can be a sign to kick on from here."
VALENTINO ROSSI (DNF)
"I didn't get a bad start to the race and I passed a lot of riders but I had a battle with Marco Melandri that cost me some time. Some of his moves were quite strong, which I could understand if we were fighting for the win on the last lap but not for eighth place at that stage of the race. Anyway, the bike felt good but just as I got my pace to 2'00.1 it suddenly started to feel wrong and I thought I had a problem with the rear tyre. I came in to change it but as I went back out I realised it was actually the front tyre, so that was the end of the race for me. I'm really disappointed because I felt in the race that I had the pace to at least pass Hopkins and Edwards, so as far as I am concerned we have lost 16 points and a podium, which would have been a good result after the problems we've had this weekend. We've lost some ground in the championship so I am feeling very disappointed right now but there is a long way to go yet."
DAVIDE BRIVIO -- CAMEL YAMAHA TEAM DIRECTOR
"First of all my congratulations to Colin and all his crew -- they have kept going after a difficult start to the season and today they got their reward. Third place is good and I hope it can be the start of much better things from him for the rest of the season. Valentino had a bad day, and even if we had changed the front tyre the first time he came in, it would have taken too long and the race would have already been lost. He has been very unlucky this year -- firstly with the incident in the first corner at Jerez and now this time with the tyre. It's always upsetting when your results are decided by things that are out of your control but there is nothing he can do about it, only look forward to making up for lost ground over an important run of races in the next few weeks."