Italian GP: Tech 3 Yamaha race report

Tech 3 Yamaha celebrate double top six finish in Mugello Colin Edwards and James Toseland catapulted the Tech 3 Yamaha team into third place in the coveted Team World Championship standings today after both produced fantastic top six results in...

Tech 3 Yamaha celebrate double top six finish in Mugello

Colin Edwards and James Toseland catapulted the Tech 3 Yamaha team into third place in the coveted Team World Championship standings today after both produced fantastic top six results in front of 96,252 fans at the Italian GP.

Edwards produced by far his best Mugello result with fifth place, beating his previous best effort of ninth after he completed a terrific fightback from ninth place in the early stages. No less impressive was the performance of rookie James Toseland, who finished just one place further back in sixth on his first visit to the challenging Mugello circuit. Displaying his trademark aggressive riding style, Toseland's surge through the field was one of the highlights of the 23-lap encounter as he passed the likes of Shinya Nakano, Nicky Hayden, Andrea Dovizioso, Loris Capirossi and Edwards.

From lap seven to 15, a fascinating inter-team battle ensued as Edwards chased Toseland, before the American made his decisive move to secure his third top five finish in the last four races. Toseland's heroics moved him back into the top eight in the overall rider standings and equalled his previous best MotoGP result.

Colin Edwards 5th +12.530;

"I didn't get a great start but it wasn't that bad but before I knew it I'd lost a couple of places. I didn't have the grip in the first two laps that some of the other guys did, so I couldn't stay with them off the corner. Once my tyres started to come in I really started to feel good, but I had to adjust my riding style with the temperature being so much higher than yesterday. The rear was coming round a bit on the entry of the corner and I started braking a lot harder, carrying less corner speed to try and conserve the tyre by picking the bike up and accelerating. It worked and I've got to say I'm happy with fifth. I'm happier with fifth here than I was with third in Le Mans to be honest. I expected to win at Le Mans, but my best result here has been a ninth. I'm not a guy that likes fifth, but on my biggest bogey track ever I'll take it. We just had to run a tyre that we thought would have good endurance because in a situation where there's hardly been any dry track time, you have to play safe. Nobody had done any endurance testing on tyres and I think the tyre I raced on I'd done about two laps on before the race! I have to say a big thanks to Michelin because they did a great job. We had no idea what the tyre would be like after 20 laps but to come from where I did showed we made a good choice. Tyre choice is critical at any track but here even more so because it is such an abrasive surface. It will destroy tyres if you are just a little bit off, so credit to Michelin. I had a good battle with James and its great to see him back in the top six. There were a couple of places like the two Arrabbiata corners where he could pull away.

"I felt like I could control him if I could pass him, and the key was getting by and being able to pull a gap so he couldn't slipstream back by me. It is another great result for the team today. I'm sure if you had said to Herve that our team would be third in the team points after six races he would have taken it."

James Toseland 6th +13.806;

"That was a really hard race and I've got to say a massive thanks to my guys at Tech 3 because we found a set-up this morning after losing so much time with the weather and it got me in the top six. Considering the lack of dry time track time my Michelin tyres held up fantastically well too, so a big thanks to them as well. I couldn't have done anymore. I was really close to Shinya Nakano in the first corner and that picked me up and I lost quite a few places. I kept my calm because I knew it was a long race and I didn't want to make the same mistake as I did in Le Mans. I just had to settle down and I didn't do anything stupid.

"It's nice to follow Colin home on the same package. Colin did a great job as well. I passed him early on but he found his pace. I held him towards the end but he just found those extra few tenths a lap and that was enough for him to pass me. You can tell he has got a lot of experience on these bikes and his bike doesn't do move so much. I feel like I'm wrestling mine a bit too much but I'm still learning. With the setting I had the bike wasn't so stable on the faster corners but my bike is one of the best out there and thanks to Yamaha. I rode hard in that race and if I was riding this hard and finishing fourteenth my morale would be seriously dented, but when I'm riding really well and the package is working well, I'm back in the top six again and this is where I need to be."

Herve Poncharal Team Manager;

"I am very pleased with today and I couldn't have asked for more from Colin and James. Mugello has been a tough track for Colin and this was his best result by far. The first two laps he lost a few positions but he regained them and he rode a really clever and consistent race. I think honestly today fifth and sixth were the best results we could have reached. I'm even happier about James because he's had some problems in the last couple of races. We never lost confidence in him because he is so motivated and you could see he was not happy with his results. We saw his fighting spirit at the start of the race and his very strong point, which is his aggressive passing, came to the fore again. At the end we were a bit scared when we saw Loris catching up but he kept concentrated and didn't make any mistakes.

"We leave Mugello with a really strong and positive spirit. Now we are third in the team championship, which is a great achievement for all of the guys.Only two factory teams are in front of us and this is very encouraging for us because we had a lot of pressure here. A lot of current sponsors and potential future sponsors were here, so I think we did a great job to show our potential. Congratulations to Yamaha again for winning that race and for being that strong, they have been magnificent this season."

-credit: yamaha-racing.com

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Nicky Hayden , Loris Capirossi , Colin Edwards , Shinya Nakano , James Toseland , Andrea Dovizioso , Herve Poncharal