Chinese GP: Tech 3 Yamaha qualifying report

Edwards surges to stunning Shanghai pole position Tech 3 Yamaha rider Colin Edwards produced a brilliant late attack to claim pole position for tomorrow's 22-lap China MotoGP clash in Shanghai. Edwards powered his Tech 3 YZR-M1 to a best lap of...

Edwards surges to stunning Shanghai pole position

Tech 3 Yamaha rider Colin Edwards produced a brilliant late attack to claim pole position for tomorrow's 22-lap China MotoGP clash in Shanghai. Edwards powered his Tech 3 YZR-M1 to a best lap of 1.58.139, which makes the American the fastest rider ever to lap the challenging 5.281km circuit. Edwards' best time comfortably secured him the third pole position of his MotoGP career with closest challenger Valentino Rossi 0.355s adrift in second. Edwards' pole position was the first for the Tech 3 team since the 2002 German MotoGP race at the Sachsenring, and secured him a third front row start in four races during his first season with the French-based squad. Edwards' stunning performance also preserved Yamaha and Michelin's 100 per cent pole position record in 2008 as he took full advantage of a radical overnight set-up change by his team and senior Japanese engineers to help solve a grip issue that hindered his progress yesterday.

James Toseland will start from seventh on the grid after the British rider continued to make big progress in his quest to master the Shanghai circuit. His best lap of 1.59.254 put him as high as fifth place at one stage before he dropped back to the third row. Tomorrow's race could be the first wet encounter of 2008, with weather forecasts predicting a strong chance of rain.

Colin Edwards 1st 1.58.139

"I've got to say big thanks to my team, Yamaha and Michelin. I truggled yesterday but today it really came good. My guys and the Japanese got together last night and they came up with a set-up scenario to get the bike working which is completely foreign to what I've been riding. I haven't used this set-up in all my time at Yamaha, but based on the problems I was describing they suggested a plan and when I was thinking about it I was like 'do what'? We were just looking for more traction because I struggled so badly in that area yesterday. We made a big change to the bike to get some weight on the rear and it worked. It was a great team effort and it definitely worked because when I went out this morning I was a second faster instantly. And it felt easy because I had no issues from the front like yesterday and my comfort level went up from 50 per cent to 95 per cent. My first two qualifiers weren't bad but it felt like I was playing a computer game when the shadow passes you and you are always trying to catch that shadow. It felt like that I could see where I wanted to be but I just wasn't hammering the throttle. So for the last tyre I went into turn one and knew I just had to get in deep enough and I really hammered it round the first two corners. I was 0.3s up just in that one section. From there I rode a good lap but I didn't have any real moments. It was weird because I didn't really have to take any risks like normal to do that time. |Everything was pretty calm and collected and the Michelin qualifier is awesome. It is going to be at tough race. I haven't done a 59 yet on a race tyre and Casey and Valentino look to be doing consistent 59. I just got to get a good start and hang in there."

James Toseland 7th 1.59.254

"I've had to dig deep this weekend because this is a much tougher track to master than Portugal. It is tough learning it on race tyres so to then throw the qualifiers in with the extra grip it almost makes it a completely new track again because you've got to go so much faster. On my first tyre I was out on my second bike and we'd changed the clutch and I had a problem with the gear shifter. I went out on my first bike on the second tyre and pinned it out of the double left and had a really big moment. My feet came off the pegs and I bit the screen so that was the end of that lap too. I only had one tyre really to make a time but without the experience of knowing how hard to push with the first two, I wasn't really up to speed I went out on the last tyre and braked a bit early for one corner and ran a bit wide at another but these things are going to happen on a brand new track.

"I was fifth when I did my best lap but unfortunately I just dropped off the second row. That can happen though when you don't know the track so well against this class of field. I'm confident for tomorrow rain or shine but congratulations to Colin and the team. He did a great job and its good for me to see Colin performing like that because it shows what the package is capable of. That's why I can't wait to get to some tracks I know."

-credit: yamaha-racing.com

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Colin Edwards , James Toseland