Edwards and Toseland upbeat as Shanghai showdown begins Tech 3 Yamaha duo Colin Edwards and James Toseland are confident they can make big improvements after finishing 10th and 13th respectively on a hot and humid day of opening free practice in...
Edwards and Toseland upbeat as Shanghai showdown begins
Tech 3 Yamaha duo Colin Edwards and James Toseland are confident they can make big improvements after finishing 10th and 13th respectively on a hot and humid day of opening free practice in China.
A best lap of 2.01.064 secured 10th place for American Edwards, who made big steps in improving front and rear grip on his Tech 3 Yamaha YZR-M1. Edwards though is still looking to improve feeling with a new front tyre construction, which Michelin is using to cope with the specific demands of the Shanghai circuit, particularly intense heat build-up in the hard braking zones.
British rider James Toseland clocked a best time of 2.01.798 after he knocked 0.8s off his best time set in this morning's opening free practice. The Shanghai clash is another steep learning experience for Toseland, who has never raced on the 5.281km circuit, which features the longest straight on the world championship calendar Showing once again what a fast learner he is, the 27-year-old was only 0.7s behind Edwards
Colin Edwards 10th 2.01.064 -- 38 laps
"We've spent most of the day changing the bike to try and find grip and we haven't had to do that all year. We are kind of in territory we haven't been in, but we know what we need to make it better. But I'm having a bit of an issue with feeling from the front. Because we run so much temperature and there are so many hard braking points at this track, Michelin has to bring a different front tyre to what we normally run and I'm struggling with that. I can't run the lines I want because I have to deal with the harder construction that's been built to dissipate the heat. I feel like a lot of my problems are coming from the front and that is having a knock on affect for the rear. Grip could be better in the rear but when you are not carrying corner speed because of a lack of feel with the front, you hammer the throttle to make up for it on the exit and that just wears the rear tyre quicker. We changed the wheelbase and made it better and we'll have a look at the computer tonight and have a chat with Michelin to see where we are. I have got five different spec rear tyres in my allocation and I only used three today so I've still got something in the bag and I'm sure it will be better for tomorrow. My guys at Tech 3 have been working as hard as ever and I'm sure we can find a solution."
James Toseland 13th 2.01.798 -- 40 laps
"This track is not too bad to learn but there are two or three places where you really need track knowledge. But I'm 0.7s off Colin on a track I've only done 40 laps on and its more than a two minute lap, so I'm pretty pleased and confident I can move much further forward tomorrow. The main issue is learning about the bumps and getting the bike to handle them. There are a few bumps in a few tricky places and they are big enough to really upset the bike. You have to be right on a good line always to get a good lap time. Getting the bike to manage the bumps is quite tough. The set-up I had from Portugal was quite a way off for here. I was hoping the base setting I've got would really gel quickly on new tracks and if it doesn't it is quite difficult to develop the set-up, but my team are doing a great job with the time we have got. Because it is such a long lap I can't do many laps and I'm not coming back to the bits that I'm struggling on quickly enough to learn more about what I need to improve. One of the toughest places to master is the first corner. Because you are on full lean you can't brake that hard so if you are slightly too quick mid-corner for when it tightens up you have to pick the bike up and it ruins your corner speed."
-credit: tech 3