German GP: Tech 3 Yamaha Friday practice report

Solid start for Monster Yamaha Tech3 in stormy Sachsenring Colin Edwards and James Toseland got their German MotoGP challenge off to a solid start at a weather-hit Sachsenring circuit today. Evaluating an upgraded electronics package from...

Solid start for Monster Yamaha Tech3 in stormy Sachsenring

Colin Edwards and James Toseland got their German MotoGP challenge off to a solid start at a weather-hit Sachsenring circuit today.

Evaluating an upgraded electronics package from Yamaha to help acceleration exiting corners, American Edwards was a promising sixth quickest and Toseland upbeat despite finishing 14th in mixed conditions.

Today's session started on a wet track after a powerful storm drenched the track during the earlier 125GP session. With forecasts for more unpredictable weather during the weekend, Edwards and Toseland gained valuable experience on Bridgestone's rain tyre before conditions improved significantly for the second half of the session.

Switching to full slick tyres for the final 25 minutes as the track dried rapidly, Edwards was immediately able to lap consistently in the top six, the 35-year-old making big progress in eradicating the front-end problems that have hindered him recently. Edwards' best time of 1.23.295 put him second in the closing stages before he eventually ended sixth, just over 0.2s outside of the top three.

Toseland was also satisfied with his best time of 1.24.317, the British rider opting to continue using his rain tyre in damp conditions in case of a repeat of the flag-to-flag races in Le Mans and Mugello. Both races started on a wet track and finished in the dry. Having gained crucial data when he switched to slick tyres to improve the set-up of his YZR-M1 machine, Toseland is confident that he can climb higher up the timesheets tomorrow in wet or dry conditions.

Colin Edwards 6th 1.23.295 -- 29 laps

"Looking at last year's race I knew the Bridgestone rain tyre was awesome, so it gave me chance to sort some of the issues out I've had in the wet recently. Previously I've had too much weight on the rear but now we've got it more balanced and it felt really good. For the dry we went back to my old setting that I pretty much rolled out at the first race in Qatar with and it was like coming home. We'd gone off the right path and I've not had any feeling with the front in the last few races. The bike hasn't been turning but the changes we've made with the front forks have transformed the way I feel. Now the bike is doing what I want it to because before I couldn't get the front set-up, I couldn't get into the corner and I had too much weight on the front with no feeling and no confidence. Now there's more weight on the rear and I can control weight transfer more without it all pushing to the front. I tried some new electronics today too and they are fantastic. It used to be so much effort to manage the bike under acceleration, but now it is incredible. I want to say a massive thanks to Yamaha because what they have put on my bike is like gold dust. It's a lot less effort to control the bike when I'm accelerating and it is giving me some crucial tenths."

James Toseland 14th 1.24.317 -- 32 laps

"It wasn't a bad session even though I'm down the timesheets because we've gathered a lot of information in the wet and dry. It was important to do a few laps in the wet and we found we didn't have a great setting. So that was good to discover because it looks like there's a big chance of rain for the rest of the weekend. I spent a bit too much time on the wet tyres basically, even when it was drying up while the other guys were already out on slicks. I wanted to check on the wet tyres and get a feel for them just in case it does dry up for the race like it did in Le Mans and Mugello. In the damp conditions I had a big moment too and really hit my right leg hard. I was out of the seat at Turn Eight and I smacked my foot on the rear brake lever so hard that it was all bent. It was painful but luckily it caught me on the protective part of my boot, otherwise I could have done myself some damage. By the time I put the slicks on and made a few changes to my set-up it was a little bit too late to get close to the speed of the others but I'm sure I could have got in the 1.23s. We had some new electronics from Yamaha and it is a big step. I've got to say a big thanks to Yamaha for helping me out. These bikes have got so much horsepower that with a bit more control under acceleration, it's amazing how much easier it feels. It has really helped me coming out of the corner and I can control the bike much better."

-credit: tech 3

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Colin Edwards , James Toseland