Consistent Edwards delivers another top ten in Indianapolis
Colin Edwards extended his impressively consistent run of results in the 2011 MotoGP World Championship this afternoon, the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider racing to a hard fought seventh position at the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The Texan made a fast start from the second row of the grid but as the pack jostled for position in the tight first section of the 2.62 miles track, Edwards was bumped back to eighth.
He was involved in an exciting early battle with factory riders Alvaro Bautista, Ben Spies and Valentino Rossi before the field began to stretch out at the halfway stage of the 28-lap encounter.
With temperatures reaching close to 30 degrees, Edwards was left in a personal duel with Spaniard Bautista until lap 23 when a big front-end slide cost him crucial time. With his front tyre starting to push more and more, Edwards decided to slow down his pace to secure a deserved seventh place, which moves him into eighth place in the World Championship standings ahead of Marco Simoncelli on 84-points.
Cal Crutchlow's reward for a weekend in which he worked tirelessly to improve the front-end feeling with his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1 machine was his best finish since the Catalunya race in early June.
He maintained a consistent pace throughout the race having led Loris Capirossi, Toni Elias, Randy de Puniet and Hiroshi Aoyama in a frantic opening few laps. And a series of strong laps in the final stages saw him snatch 11th from Marco Simoncelli on the final lap to end his recent run of disappointing results.
Colin Edwards 7th – 84 points:
“I thought I got a fantastic start but the problem is the Yamaha is lacking a bit of grunt. I needed Fred Flinstone behind giving me a push to go faster, so I had a few people come by me on the run to the first corner. The first few laps I felt I could go faster but with Bautista sitting in front of me, I'd get close and then coming out of the corner he would just grab a few metres on me. In the twisty stuff at the end of the lap I was gaining it all back and at the last corner I almost ran into him. But by the time we got to the first corner he'd pull a few bike lengths on me again. I really wanted to beat Bautista but he started to ride really well in the second half of the race. I was on his back wheel and looking for an opportunity to make an overtake but I lost the front at the end of the back straight and that was a warning just to back off and take seventh. The front tyre lost a fair bit of grip in the last few laps though I wasn't the only one to have a problem. But I was top non-factory rider, I got another top ten and I moved up another place in the Championship, so it wasn't a bad afternoon's work. We go to Misano now and see if we can fight for the top six."
Cal Crutchlow 11th - 39 points:
“Firstly I want to say a big thanks to all my guys in the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team. They never gave up all weekend, even when we were struggling a little bit and it might sound silly but I don't think any of us in the garage have ever been so pleased to get an 11th place. After the bad recent run it was important to finish the race and I did that. The result wasn't the best but my speed at the end of the race was really good and I'm happy about that, so there are a lot of positives to take to Misano. At the end of the race I was lapping faster than Jorge Lorenzo. I was a long way behind him but that still gives me a lot of encouragement. Like a lot of people I had a few issues with the front tyre and in the early part of the race it wasn't easy but I never gave up and pushed right to the end. This result at least gives us something to build on for the next races, starting at Misano, which is a track that at least I don't have to learn. I've needed to finish races to gain some experience and I'm glad we did because I learned a lot this afternoon and gave the Team a lot of good feedback to hopefully improve the bike in Misano.”
Hervé Poncharal: Team Manager:
"I am very happy with the performance of Colin and Cal today and I think both of them got the best result we could have hoped for. Colin rode full of determination and I think at some stage he could have passed Bautista, but it was difficult. It was very wise from Colin not to push anymore with five laps to go as he had a big lead over the riders behind. This puts him in eighth position in the Championship standings and he passed Marco Simoncelli, who is one of the fastest riders in MotoGP. He deserved to have a strong race in front of his home crowd and he has been pushing all weekend and I want to thank him for that. Cal was a lot better than in previous races and he did a good, solid job. At the beginning he struggled but he got a lot better throughout the race lap and at the end he was faster than the group in front of him. That race was just what he needed after the bad period to clear of his mind a little bit. I believe he had a great race and that will put him back on the track. We go to Misano now where he knows the track and that will be another positive. Today he has learnt a lot and he was faster at the end of the race than at the beginning and this experience helps him prepare for next year.”