Fast start for Edwards, Toseland looking to improve Just four days after the British GP, the Tech 3 Yamaha team was back on track in Holland today, with American Colin Edwards immediately on the pace at the historic Assen circuit. The American...
Fast start for Edwards, Toseland looking to improve
Just four days after the British GP, the Tech 3 Yamaha team was back on track in Holland today, with American Colin Edwards immediately on the pace at the historic Assen circuit. The American posted the fourth best time in this morning's opening free practice session and in dry but windy conditions this afternoon went one better to end the day third quickest. His improvement by nearly 0.5s came largely thanks to a small front-end set-up modification to help his Tech 3 Yamaha YZR-M1 turn quicker in the fast changes of direction at the Assen circuit.
On a day of impressively fast lap times, Edwards was one of only four riders to post times under the current lap record with his best time of 1.36.931 just 0.112s away from second placed Valentino Rossi. The lap record of 1.37.106 is held on a 990cc machine from 2006, underlining just how fast the pace was today.
British rider James Toseland had a difficult start to his ninth MotoGP race as he ended the day 13th fastest with a best lap of 1.37.838. Toseland is confident he can move up the timesheets tomorrow after a late switch to a geometry setting, similar to that used by Edwards, helped his progress.
Tomorrow's final practice and qualifying sessions are expected to be run in dry conditions, but rain has been forecast for Saturday's 26-lap race.
Colin Edwards 3rd 1.36.931 - 52 laps
"I'm pretty pleased with that because if you take Casey out of the equation I've got the pace to match anybody. We made a small change to the bike after this morning because here you carry so much load you have to play with the spring rate to get the right feeling. How my bike was set-up from Donington, it was just a bit too lazy and slow to react around this track. There are some pretty fast changes of direction round here. I was getting it to change direction but it was all happening a little bit too slow. My team had some good ideas to try and help the bike steer a bit better but it didn't feel great. There was a bit too much weight on the front. I was pushing but I didn't want to push any harder because the feel just wasn't there. We made another little change and I was straight into the low 37s and I was on it. We then changed the front setting again and I got a lot more confidence in the front and it felt awesome. I was never outside the top three so it is looking good. The grip feels really good and all my tyres seem pretty good so thanks to Michelin for that. You need endurance round this track and nothing too crazy grip wise in the beginning that might drop off. We've got a good direction but honestly if it is going to rain on Saturday I'd really like to get some rain tomorrow. I need to sort out this year's bike for the rain. We have a year old rain setting that works good but that setting needs to be tweaked for this year's bike. I could start the race with my old faithful rain setting and it will work, but we can make it better after what we had at Donington in the wet."
James Toseland 13th 1.37.838 - 45 laps
"It is hard work at the moment to be honest. We wasted a lot of time and should have gone with the setting we had at the end much earlier. Basically I've gone closer to what Colin is running but we didn't do it until too late and it was quite a frustrating session. I got up to speed quite fast right at the end when we tried this new setting so it seems like we have found a good direction but we wasted too much time getting there. The bike is better on the brakes because I was losing so much rear grip on the entry of the corners that I had no corner speed with the other setting. The way this new setting transfers the weight is much smoother and doesn't move weight off the rear as quick. With the new setting I got straight into the 37s and I feel I could have built on that but we'd been going round in circles for too long. I just spent too much time in the garage and when I need the track time to get the bike set-up on a track I've not tested on, I can't afford to do that. I'm trying to learn the track on this bike so I need to be out there. Now we've got this setting I'm confident for tomorrow that we can move forward."