Japanese GP: Tech 3 Yamaha Friday practice report

Promising Form Monster Yamaha Tech 3 duo Colin Edwards and James Toseland showed promising form to end the first day of action in Yamaha's all-important home race at the Twin Ring Motegi in fifth and tenth places respectively. American...

Promising Form

Monster Yamaha Tech 3 duo Colin Edwards and James Toseland showed promising form to end the first day of action in Yamaha's all-important home race at the Twin Ring Motegi in fifth and tenth places respectively.

American Edwards continued his stunning start to the 2009 MotoGP campaign, ending the 45-minute session with a best time of 1.49.697 to finish just 0.7s outside of the top three. Today's session was run under cool and grey skies, and looks certain to be the only dry session ahead of Sunday's 24-lap Japanese MotoGP race. Tomorrow's forecasts predict a 90 per cent chance of rain. As a result of tomorrow's gloomy outlook, Edwards spent the entire session using the same hard compound Bridgestone front and rear tyres to gain crucial endurance data, with the 35-year-old expecting the harder compounds to be his race selection.

British rider Toseland adopted the same tactic to easily produce his best performance on the impressive 2009 Yamaha YZR-M1 so far. After a difficult winter testing campaign and a disappointing first race in Qatar, the 28-year showed his motivation remains as strong as ever as he featured in the top six for the majority of the session.

Fine-tuning a new front fork set-up to help with braking stability, Toseland's final position of tenth didn't reflect his brilliant return to form on the 2.983 miles circuit, and he's confident of mounting a strong challenge in Sunday's race.

Colin Edwards 5th 1.49.697 -- 19 laps

"Today was all about gathering information. My thinking even yesterday was to start with the hard tyre because we knew it was going to be cold and the forecasts were showing rain for tomorrow, so I needed to get some information in the dry before the race. I started out with the hard tyre and didn't change it for the whole session, just switching the same tyre between bikes to play around with the setting. I'm sure if I had run the softer compounds I could have gone quicker, but Bridgestone think the hard front and rear will be what I'll need for the race. It feels to me like the left side of the tyre is a little bit too hard and I've got to make sure I get it warmed up. The right side feels really good, but you can't take too much risk in the beginning on the left, but once it comes to temperature it works fine. The bike feels really great to show what a great job Yamaha has done again. Today was a good start to the weekend and hopefully I can continue that to give Yamaha a good result in Japan."

James Toseland 10th 1.50.432 -- 19 laps

"That was a bit more like it. Right to the end I was looking good to be around the top six but I caught (Yuki) Takahashi on my last lap when the tyre was working pretty good, so I'm sure I could have got into the 1.49s. My guys have done a great job because I had a slightly different setting on the front fork today to get a bit more control under braking. This place is all about hard braking and that is an area I've needed to work on. I've got a bit more control on initial braking so it doesn't upset the bike as much when I'm turning in. I ran most of the session on the hard tyre with the weather not looking too good for tomorrow, but I did try the softer one at the end just to check on it. I doubt we'd be able to run it in the race, even if the temperature is quite low. So if it rains tomorrow and it's dry for the race, at least I know I'll run the harder tyre. It was a difficult first race but we're not losing motivation and my team have all stuck together. Rain or shine I'm determined to get a good result for them and Yamaha in their home race."

-credit: tech3yamaha

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