Edwards and Crutchlow fired up for Phillip Island challenge
The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team makes the long trip to Australia this weekend with confidence high that Colin Edwards and Cal Crutchlow can battle for a double top 10 finish at the breath-taking Phillip Island circuit.
Edwards has an impressive record at the 2.764 miles track and in his eight finishes from nine starts, he has only finished lower than ninth on one occasion with a best of fourth place back in 2004. He has qualified in fifth position at Phillip Island for the past two seasons and he is aiming for a fifth consecutive top 10 finish at the spectacular coastal track, which has stunning views over the Bass Strait.
The 37-year-old is currently ninth in the overall rankings on 98-points and six-points from Sunday's 27-lap race will see Edwards better his tally from 2010 with two races of the World Championship still remaining.
Crutchlow is no stranger to the technical Phillip Island layout, which features fast and sweeping corners that provides one of the toughest examinations of man and machine on the calendar.
Crutchlow qualified on the front row of the grid at last year's World Superbike round and he just missed the podium in an unforgettable World Supersport race in 2009 when the top five were split by just over a second.
Like most of the grid, Crutchlow is a massive fan of the fast and undulating circuit and he is looking forward to riding a MotoGP bike for the first time at Phillip Island when practice gets underway on Friday morning.
The British rider is currently enjoying a fine run of consistent form in his rookie season and he is seeking a fifth consecutive points-scoring finish on Sunday.
Due to its proximity to the coast, the Phillip Island weekend is frequently dominated by rapidly changing weather conditions including heavy rain, high winds and bitterly cold temperatures that only adds to the challenge facing the MotoGP field.
The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team will have little time to rest and recuperate as the World Championship paddock immediately heads back to the Far East for the Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang next weekend ahead of the season finale in Valencia.
“It is always a special feeling to be heading to Phillip Island because I've got a lot of good friends in Australia who always come out to support me. And the track is something really special and there's nothing else like it on the calendar. I fell in love with the track when I raced here years ago in World Superbikes and I still get that same buzz even now. It is super-fast, has lots of undulation and you get to push a MotoGP bike to its absolute limit at Phillip Island. The weather usually throws up a few surprises for us and I'm sure this weekend will be no exception, but we'll be ready for whatever happens and pushing as hard as always to get the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team the best result possible. After a couple of difficult races I was back in the top 10 in Japan and that will be my aim again this weekend.”
“I've been really excited about this weekend for a while now because Phillip Island is an awesome track and I can't wait to get a taste of what it feels like to ride a MotoGP bike on it. I've ridden a Supersport 600 and World Superbike machine there and had some good performances, so I'm hoping it will be the same this weekend. I've been told to expect some unpredictable weather this weekend, which will feel strange because normally when I'm here it is really hot and sunny in February. Whatever happens it will be the same for everybody and I'm just concentrating on extending my good run of results. I've scored points in the last four races and that consistency has been good for my confidence and at least I'm coming here without the extra pressure of learning the track. That makes a massive difference because I can focus all my energy on my riding and setting up the bike, so the top 10 is my goal again.”