Edwards and Crutchlow battle for top six in Le Mans
The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team ended its home race at the historic Le Mans circuit pondering what might have been after Colin Edwards and Cal Crutchlow both crashed out of contention for a top six finish in a pulsating French MotoGP race today.
Edwards battled to a determined 13th place finish after he'd tumbled out of seventh position at the first chicane on lap 14. The Texan had produced a stunning early charge to keep himself in contention with a group featuring Valentino Rossi, Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo, but lost the front-end of his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1 at the first left-hander.
Edwards lost his left footpeg in the slow speed fall but remounted and returned to the pits. Thanks to the quick work of his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 crew, he was quickly back on track and able to score three World Championship points that keep him inside the top ten of the overall rankings after four rounds.
Crutchlow's bid to claim a career best premier class finish was ended on the sixth of 28-laps while he was lying in ninth position and building up his speed to launch an attack on 2009 World Superbike champion and former Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider Ben Spies.
Crutchlow was only 0.2s behind Spies when he lost the front-end at Turn 6. Determined to get back in the race, Crutchlow's hopes of fighting his way back into the points were ended by a minor throttle issue that prevented him from continuing.
Position 13th - 21 points
“I got one of the best starts I've had in a long time and I just flew off the line but it was the usual jostle for position at the first corner. I got a bit of clear track in front of me and I could see Valentino was coming back to me a little bit and Dovizioso and Lorenzo were also just in front of him. I rode at my absolute maximum to try and stay with them because I really wanted to get a top six for Tech 3 and for Monster. I was losing four of five bike lengths though coming onto the back straight and then I'd also lose a bit more time at the next chicane because I wasn't that fast through there. I could see the gap was staying at 1.5s and there was nothing I could do. I wasn't making mistakes but neither were they, so I could see them but just not get close enough. When I crashed it didn't feel like I was doing anything too stupid. I was on the same line and I didn't get in there too hot. Normally you get a bit of warning when the front is going to tuck, but I had nothing. I was already looking through at the next corner and then I was down. I broke the footpeg off but came back to the pits and went out again and salvaged a couple of points, which might prove valuable at the end of the year.”
DNF - 21 poitns
“I'm pretty disappointed because looking at how the race panned out I could have been in sixth place because when I crashed I was having a good battle with Ben. I'd caught him quite easily and was looking forward to a good race when I made a stupid little mistake in Turn 6. I touched the kerb and I lost the front. I literally fell off the side of the bike and that was it. It is disappointing because I had the pace to get another top eight, but these things can happen when you're pushing so hard in a competitive class like MotoGP. I managed to get back on the bike but there was a problem with the throttle, so it was impossible for me to carry on. I showed my raw speed all weekend so I'm not going to be too hard on myself, though I was desperate to get a good result for Tech 3 and Monster.”
Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team Manager
"The whole weekend has been really good and as usual and it was just a shame that we couldn't get the results that Colin and Cal's speed deserved. But both of them are always giving their absolute maximum and that is all I can ask. In the race Cal didn't get such a good start, but he recovered and was right behind Ben. From that moment we thought he could have had a strong race but unfortunately a little mistake cost him a lot. When you see Ben finishing sixth, then you can't help wonder whether Cal could have scored his best result in MotoGP. Colin was very fast and very aggressive. He was looking strong for a top six finish, but then also he crashed. It is strange because our two guys don't usually crash and yet both of them have crashed on the same day in our home race. That's a pity but we will stay positive. They were both fast during the race and we move to Barcelona in confident mood. We wanted to do better for the French fans who came to support Tech 3 and for our sponsors Monster, who have done another amazing job in supporting the Le Mans event."
-source: tech 3 yamaha