Edwards on front row, Jorge Lorenzo starting from fifth Colin Edwards handed the Tech 3 Yamaha team its sixth front row start of 2008 after another impressive qualifying performance at the Sachsenring today. Wary that rain might disrupt the ...
Edwards on front row, Jorge Lorenzo starting from fifth
Colin Edwards handed the Tech 3 Yamaha team its sixth front row start of 2008 after another impressive qualifying performance at the Sachsenring today.
Wary that rain might disrupt the session after a weather-hit final practice session this morning, Edwards used one of his Michelin qualifying tyres early and he jumped to the top of the timesheets with a lap of 1.21.794. More than half the session still remained at that stage, but Edwards was always in contention for his fourth front row start of the season. And in the closing seconds, a best lap of 1.21.519 on his final Michelin qualifying tyre saw him claim third on the grid, just 0.099s behind. MotoGP world championship leader Dani Pedrosa and dominant Casey Stoner.
Edwards is confident that his race pace will be good enough to challenge for a third podium of the season in tomorrow's 30-lap race.
A late set-up change with his YZR-M1 machine reaped immediate rewards for British team-mate James Toseland. The 27-year-old was able to knock a full second off his previous best time with the alteration, which helped with rear traction. Toseland moved up as high as ninth on the third row before he slipped down to 11th in the closing stages. He was only 0.5s away from the front row with another determined display.
Colin Edwards 3rd 1.21.519 - 26 laps
We tried something different this morning and I don't know if I woke up on the wrong side of the bed or what we tried was bizarre, even though it wasn't far from what we had yesterday, but it just didn't work. I threw a qualifier in early just to make sure I'd got a time in with the skies looking a bit threatening. You'd hate to be on the pace and not try an early qualifier and be back in ninth or something on the grid. Being on the front row is great for my team because it is so important here with it being so hard to pass on this track. I've never gone well at this track, so if somebody had told me on Thursday I'd be on the front row and ready to fight for the podium, I'm not sure what I would have said. But it's a testament to how good everything is working well together. The bike, the tyres and the team just make a great package. I'd still like a bit more feeling on the front and it kind of feels a bit vague but I think a lot of that's down to the temperature. We have to run a harder front for endurance and it works okay, but it would work great in hotter conditions because the surface was only about 26 degrees out there today. But the Michelin qualifiers are awesome because you can just go and push on them. It might rain tomorrow and we have been trying to sort out a wet setting with the geometry of this year's bike and we have struggled a bit. We have a wet setting that I used to finish second at Donington last year and I used it at Donington in qualifying last month. Just about every time it rains I pull this setting out and use it. So tomorrow I'm not going to mess around and try and make something new work. I'll just get 20 minutes of good time on that setting if its wet in the warm-up. I expect to be up there challenging at the front tomorrow because the total package is working awesome."
James Toseland 11th 1.22.126 - 26 laps
"I made a change for the last qualifier and it was night and day difference. I found it difficult on the first three tyres and couldn't break the 1.23 barrier. With that weight transfer problem pitching weight to the front, I wasn't getting the best out of the extra grip from the qualifier because I didn't have much feel from the rear going into the corners. I've got to say a big thanks to my guys because at the end we made a slight change to the rear of the bike and I did a 22.1. Before that I'd hit a bit of a wall. The change helped massively with the weight transfer and to go a second quicker from one qualifier to the next is a massive improvement. I'm only 11th but another half-a-second and I would have been on the front row, so I'm reasonably happy. I need to get a decent start and hold my position in the top ten because it is a long race and it could rain. Like I said yesterday, this is a tough track. The throttle control knowledge you need for this track is unbelievable. You have got to be so precise and it is almost like you have to learn which position of the throttle you need to be in rather than where you need to be on the track. Too little throttle and you're going too slowly in the corner and too much and you run wide or it unsettles the balance of the bike. In terms of throttle control I've never known a track where you need to be so accurate for lines and apexes and it is so hard because you spend so much time at full lean angle."