Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
Home top ten for Edwards, Crutchlow crashes early
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider Colin Edwards rode to a hard fought eighth place finish in front of a large home crowd at the Laguna Seca track earlier today.
Today's race started in gloriously sunny conditions with temperatures reaching 23 degrees and a sun-drenched crowd of 52,670 were treated to an exciting battle throughout the 32-lap encounter.
Edwards seized eighth from Hector Barbera exiting the famous Corkscrew section on lap 14 but he was already six seconds adrift of the battle for sixth place involving Ducati duo Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden.
He was able to run identical lap times to nine-times world champion Rossi and double Laguna Seca MotoGP winner Hayden in the middle phase of the race. But he was unable to reduce the gap and he opted not to take any unnecessary risks to ensure he collected eigth valuable World Championship points.
Today's result, which was the 37-year-old's seventh top ten finish of the campaign, moved him up one place in the overall rankings after to consolidate his position as the leading non-factory rider in 2011.
Cal Crutchlow's debut at the spectacular Laguna Seca circuit was unfortunately a short experience, the British rider's hopes of a return to the top 10 ended by an early crash.
Starting from the front of the fourth row, Crutchlow was shadowing tenth placed Alvaro Bautista when he lost the front-end of his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team machine at Turn 2.
The 25-year-old was unhurt in the fourth lap incident but it was a disappointing conclusion to a weekend that had promised much from the 2009 World Supersport champion after he'd brilliantly got to grips with the 3.610km track.
The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team now commences a richly deserved two-week summer break before the 2011 MotoGP World Championship resumes in Brno on August 14.
Colin Edwards 8th - 67 points:
“Honestly I'm really disappointed because I came here for my home race and I expected bigger and better things. I struggled all weekend with the set-up and we made a wrong turn somewhere in the last couple of races that have knocked us out of stride a little bit. This morning we just put in the same setting I ran in last year's race and that wasn't great, but at least I felt more comfortable with it than what I'd been running all weekend. It wasn't the best setting but at least I felt comfortable to a point where I could push for some decent lap times. I just lacked front and rear grip. I've never ridden so hard in my life but I was a second off the pace and when Cal went down in front of me, there was no way I could go with Bautista. I just had to be smooth because if I pushed I just ended up going slower. I still moved up in the Championship and got some good points, so now I'm just looking forward to a couple of weeks relaxing to get ready for the final part of the season.”
Cal Crutchlow DNF – 34 points:
“I lost the front at the second corner and it was a similar problem to what we've been experiencing in recent races. It was fine this morning in cooler conditions but as soon as the track temperature goes up, I have a few problems. Strangely it was only at that corner. It is a shame because I think we had a good pace. Bautista wasn't getting away from me and he quickly got up to Valentino and Nicky, so I think I could have gone with him and been in that battle. I'm disappointed I didn't finish the race and it is not good for the Championship but I wasn't the only one to crash today and it shows all of us are pushing on the limit. We have still learned quite a bit this weekend and the bike certainly felt better than it did in the last few races. Now we go to some tracks that I know and I'm looking forward to it because it has been a tough run and I need to recover the form I was showing in the beginning of the season."
Herve Poncharal – Team Manager:
“Colin had a really strong race today and he worked hard for some good points He never gave up his pace, the rhythm was very constant and he was very near the pace of the factory Ducati for almost the entire race. He asked me on the grid what I would like and I said that an eighth position would make me happy because it had not been an easy weekend for Colin. So I am happy with his performance. On the other side of the garage we had a very big disappointment for Cal. He got a reasonable start and his lap times were very good in the first few laps but he crashed early and that is a big pity. This is Cal's rookie year where he needs to be gaining lots of experience and learning a lot, so to crash so early is very disappointing because we lost a lot of points in the championship. But he also lost a lot of potential data that would have been very useful for next year. I would have liked him to finish the race and go into the summer break with a more positive feeling. Everybody is ready for a break after a very intense period of the Championship. The whole team is going to Colin's Boot Camp tomorrow and we are all excited about that. Hopefully we will all be back with fully recharged batteries when the season continues in Czech Republic."
by: Tech 3 Yamaha