Edwards and Crutchlow ready for magnificent Mugello
The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team's busy schedule continues this weekend when Colin Edwards and Cal Crutchlow visit the magnificent Mugello circuit for the TIM Grand Prix of Italy, round eight of the 2011 MotoGP World Championship.
The 3.259 miles track is one of the most spectacular and challenging on the calendar and winds around the picturesque Tuscany countryside to provide the ultimate test of man and machine. The track has been resurfaced for 2011 and other riders who have recently tested at Mugello have declared themselves delighted with grip levels and the new tarmac has also removed some of the notoriously bumpy sections.
The TIM Grand Prix of Italy is the fourth race of si x in a hectic eight week period and comes hot on the heels of last weekend's Dutch TT at the historic Assen circuit in which Edwards and Crutchlow looked like scoring the first double top six of the season for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team. Unfortunately both encountered front tyre grip issues but still scored points.
With a further six days to have rested since Assen, Edwards and Crutchlow are confident they will be closer to 100 per cent fitness this weekend. The right collarbone Edwards broke in Catalunya on June 3 has quickly regained maximum strength, but muscle damage to his ribcage caused in the same accident is still the source of considerable discomfort for the popular American. With Mugello featuring numerous hard braking points and fast changes of direction, Edwards is expecting to ride through the pain barrier again.
Crutchlow has used the short break after Assen to step up his training regime after he broke his left collarbone in a qualifying crash at the recent British Grand Prix. The 25-year-old performed heroics last weekend to qualify sixth in Assen before he led nine-times world champion in the race in fourth position before he slipped back with front tyre grip problems.
Crutchlow has already demonstrated his skills at learning new tracks with impressive ease in 2011, so he's looking to compete for his maiden top six on Sunday.
“My ribs are still sore from Assen and I'm expecting them to cause me a few problems this weekend because Mugello has a lot of fast changes of direction. That's the point where I suffer the most because I don't have 100 per cent strength in my upper body. I am looking forward to getting to Italy and seeing all the Italian fans. I've loved racing in Ital y right from my World Superbike career and the atmosphere at Mugello is always special. The first job will be checking the new surface. I've heard good reports about it but the extra grip means we'll probably have to tweak the set-up of the bike a little bit. But the Yamaha has been working well recently and I'm sure we've got a competitive package. Hopefully we can have better conditions too. Silverstone and Assen have been pretty wet, so I'm looking forward to a whole weekend where we can put on a show for the fans on a dry track.”
“I was disappointed last weekend in Assen because I'm sure I could have got my best MotoGP result, but I'm determined to make up for it with a strong performance in Mugello. After all the effort I put in to ride, it was a pity not to finish where I should have done last weekend but I can't change what happened an d now my focus is solely on doing the best job I can in Mugello. It is another new track for me again and it is going to be very difficult. But I've done a decent job at the other tracks I'd never seen before this year, so I'm confident I can be competitive. It looks like very technical with lots of different challenges but I'm up for it.”
By: Tech 3 Yamaha