Edwards and Crutchlow set sights on double top 10 result
Colin Edwards and Cal Crutchlow are optimistic they can both fight for top 10 results in the 22-lap Cardion ab Grand Prix České republiky after the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team duo impressed during this afternoon's qualifying session at the Brno circuit.
Edwards will start from the middle of the third row in eighth position, the American brilliantly capitalising on a range of set-up modifications to his YZR-M1 machine to post a best time of 1’57.676. The popular 37 year-old was able to run consistently inside the top 10 for the entire session, the set-up changes drastically improving front and rear grip to allow Edwards to qualify leading non-factory rider once again in 2011.
His best time was just over 0.3s away from the second row and the Texan is now confident he can challenge for his first ever top six finish at the Brno circuit in tomorrow's race, which is the 11th round of this year's MotoGP World Championship.
Crutchlow too demonstrated his encouraging speed in the early part of the session, the British rider reaping the benefits of major front-end set-up changes to give him more turning performance. Crutchlow, who was an impressive seventh quickest in a rain-affected final practice session this morning, was able to run inside the top three at one stage, as he worked on fine-tuning the race set-up of his YZR-M1 machine.
The 25 year-old seemed certain to challenge for a spot on the third row of the grid when a small mistake at Turn 10 resulted in an unfortunate crash with 12 minutes remaining. Crutchlow sprinted back to the pits to jump on his second YZR-M1 bike, but he was unable to improve on his time of 1’57.797 and will start the race from 11th. The major front-end modifications though have boosted Crutchlow's confidence in full race trim and he is aiming to battle for a top seven finish tomorrow.
Colin Edwards, 8th: “I'm much happier today with the performance of the bike and I need to say a big thanks to my Monster Yamaha Tech 3 crew again for their incredible work. Yesterday I just wasn't comfortable at all and had no feeling with the front or rear of the bike. I told my crew what I was feeling on the track and it is up to them to interpret that and try and improve the bike. And today they did an absolutely awesome job and I had a much better package. I went from feeling like I was riding on marbles yesterday to having a lot of traction today and I felt much more comfortable. We actually just threw in last year's race set-up and even though I'm using a completely different chassis, it worked brilliantly, although I'm still 0.4s slower than last year. I'm not sure why that is. I'm not sure if the track lost some grip after the rain this morning because this afternoon in the dry my bike was so much better than yesterday, so I can't really compare. Looking at the calibre of the guys in front of me and what they are riding, I think to be completely realistic, I wouldn't be upset to finis h where I qualified.”
I'm just looking forward to having a good race tomorrow and picking up valuable points.
Cal Crutchlow, 11th: “I'm happy on one hand because we made a big change to the bike to help it turn better and it was a really good step. But I'm a little disappointed on the other hand because I made a silly little mistake that probably cost me the chance to get on the third row. We were making some good progress with the new front set-up and I was faster in the first two splits than my previous best lap when I just ran in too hot at Turn 10. I should have just ran into the gravel but I tried to make the corner, squeezed the brake a bit harder and down I went. It's one of those things when you're pushing hard against this level of competition but I've felt much better on the bike here this weekend. My times have been consistently on the edge of the top six and I felt I could have probably qualified sixth or seventh. My race pace has been strong so I'm just looking forward to having a good race tomorrow and picking up valuable points.”