Japanese GP: Tech 3 Yamaha Friday practice report

Tech 3 Yamaha battle mixed conditions in Japan Mixed weather conditions posed another tough challenge for the Tech 3 Yamaha team on the opening day of the Japanese GP today, with Colin Edwards and James Toseland finishing 13th and 14th ...

Tech 3 Yamaha battle mixed conditions in Japan

Mixed weather conditions posed another tough challenge for the Tech 3 Yamaha team on the opening day of the Japanese GP today, with Colin Edwards and James Toseland finishing 13th and 14th respectively on combined times.

This afternoon's session started on a rapidly drying track after an earlier cloudburst, and Edwards quickly found his rhythm, moving to the top of the timesheets in the opening ten minutes. The American continued to reel off fast and consistent lap times and he was still in the top four at the halfway point in Yamaha's all-important home race. He finished with a best time of 1.49.344, but in a frantic final few minutes he slipped out of the top ten to finish 13th.

Toseland was one place further back with a best time of 1.49.424 as today's intermittent rain showers posed another challenge for the British rider, who again had to contend with tricky conditions while trying to learn the Twin Ring Motegi circuit.

By the end of the session, his lowly position didn't reflect the significant progress the 27-year-old made throughout, as he was delighted with his day's work. Toseland made a major breakthrough with the set-up of his Yamaha YZRM1 machine, with suspension adjustments dramatically improving his confidence with braking stability and corner entry rear grip.

Today's session was run under grey and gloomy skies, but weekend forecasts are for improved conditions, with tomorrow and Sunday expected to be dry.

Colin Edwards - Position: 13th Time: 1'49.344 Laps: 41

"It hasn't been a brilliant day. I went out there at the start and I was on top of the charts and thought it was all looking good. Even after about five or six laps when the times started to improve a lot I was hanging around second and third place. It felt good but as soon as some guys really got going I started dropping down the list pretty quick. I tried a couple of rear tyres and haven't really found anything and that's the problem. The best rear I've got at the moment doesn't look like it will be good enough compared to the other guys. I did six laps at the end of the session in qualifying mode just to try and get a decent lap time in, but I couldn't go any faster than a 49.3. I was running some of the best laps I've ever done at this place but I can't get any feel from the rear. The front tyre is great but I'm spinning too much with the rear, and the burning question is how do we find more traction? We've made a couple of adjustments to the bike and it feels awesome. I'm not going to get the bike any better. I'm putting myself under a lot of pressure to perform, but when I go out and ride as hard and as good as I did today, to still be way down the standings is a bit frustrating. I'll sit down with

James Toseland - Position: 14th Time: 1'49.424Laps: 44

"I was completely lost this morning and to be honest we've been a bit lost for quite a few races. I got a good result in Misano but that was only because I was able to do the same lap time on every single lap. So when everybody else wasn't that consistent I ended up getting a sixth. But really I was no faster on Sunday than I was on Friday. It has been a really frustrating time but we just tried something radically different with the suspension and all of a sudden it has clicked again and it is a nice feeling. Ignoring the position I'm in because I stayed out on one of the softer tyres for nearly half race distance, I am really relieved to have found something with the bike. The change has really helped with braking stability and with the contact of the rear tyre on corner entry. The feeling on the brakes and going in and coming out of corners has not been great for the last few races and we have been chasing our tails trying to find a solution. We all sat down and talked how we weren't really going in a direction that was good enough and the team has done a great job to get back on track. Today is the nearest I have been to the front in terms of time on a brand new track on the first day, and I've only had limited dry time again. I don't mind learning a track in the rain because it makes it slower, so you can feel the bumps and see the lines. The only thing is I'm missing out on dry setup time and I've struggled with that all year because of how badly we've been hit by the rain."

-credit: yamaha-racing.com

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Colin Edwards , James Toseland