Italian GP: Tech 3 Yamaha Friday practice report

Strong start for Monster Yamaha Tech 3 in Mugello Colin Edwards and James Toseland made a strong start to the Italian MotoGP weekend in Mugello today, the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 duo finishing opening free practice in fifth and 11th places ...

Strong start for Monster Yamaha Tech 3 in Mugello

Colin Edwards and James Toseland made a strong start to the Italian MotoGP weekend in Mugello today, the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 duo finishing opening free practice in fifth and 11th places respectively.

American Edwards recovered superbly from the early setback of losing his number one YZR-M1 machine to a minor problem to clock the fifth quickest time in a session run in hot and sunny conditions at the spectacular Mugello circuit.

The 35-year-old adapted brilliantly to the hardest Bridgestone compound rear tyre used so far in the 2009 MotoGP world championship to clock a best time of 1.50.891. Bridgestone opted to use the hard compound tyre today to cope with extreme track temperatures that peaked at 50 degrees and the high-speed nature of the 3.259 miles track.

Toseland ended the session in optimistic mood after he posted the 11th best time with a 1.51.401. An early set-up issue that hindered Toseland's ability to change direction resulted in the British rider having to contend with an arm pump problem for the majority of the session.

The problem was exaggerated at the Mugello circuit, one of the fastest and most technical tracks on the calendar, but the 28-year-old was still able to show encouraging form and he was only 0.5s away from the top five. Toseland's Yamaha YZR-M1 is carrying a number 50 sticker this weekend to show support for former Tech 3 rider Sylvain Guintoli. The French rider is currently recovering from leg injuries suffered in a British Superbike Championship crash at Donington Park earlier this week.

Colin Edwards 5th 1.50.891 -- 25 laps

"I'm reasonably happy because I did most of the session on my second bike. I had a very small problem with my number one bike and my guys did a great job to get me out so quickly on the second bike. The second bike though had stiffer suspension settings and I had a little bit of front-end movement that was holding me back a little bit. And with the hard compound Bridgestone tyres at the end of the session I was getting a bit more movement. But I've got to say that Bridgestone has done a great job. They are really simple and really easy to understand when you have the experience. It's the hardest rear I've tried all year and it feels great, despite the high track temperatures. And its typical Bridgestone because the more laps you seem to do on it the faster you go and even now that is still freaking me out. I think we've easily got half-a-second to come from the bike but I've got to smooth my riding out a little bit. Without getting the bike quite dialled in with the stiffer suspension settings I wasn't as smooth as I'd normally like to be, but we have got plenty of ideas to change it and I'm confident we're in for a good weekend."

James Toseland 11th 1.51.401 -- 24 laps

"That wasn't a bad session really and I'm pretty happy. I didn't start off feeling very comfortable on the bike and fair play to Gary Reynders and my team because they did a good job in solving some of the problems and we always went in the right direction with the set-up. It was really difficult to change direction with the setting I had at the start and it gave me arm pump and I never suffer with that. But because I was forcing the bike with my arms at the beginning of the session, once I'd got arm pump I couldn't get rid of it. Without that I'm sure the package I had was capable of going another three of four tenths quicker and that would put me in the top six. I felt comfortable too on the hard tyre because the last time I was on that was in Sepang in testing when I had my big crash. So to be half-a-second off fifth place on that tyre, I guess we're friends again. It was hot out there with 50 degrees on the ground but the hard tyre was working pretty well for me. I'm optimistic and confident for the rest of the weekend because the time I lost was with my arm problem and not the bike, so I'm really looking forward to getting out there tomorrow and doing a good job. I'm carrying Sylvain's race number on my bike as a gesture from the whole Tech 3 Team to show we're all thinking of him and wishing him a quick recovery. He's a great guy and we all want to see him back out on track as soon as possible."

-credit: tech 3

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Colin Edwards , James Toseland , Sylvain Guintoli
Teams Tech 3