TRICKY FIRST DAY FOR CAMEL YAMAHA IN ISTANBUL Camel Yamaha Team riders Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards spent the first day of practice for the Grand Prix of Turkey gathering important set-up data after encountering different track...
TRICKY FIRST DAY FOR CAMEL YAMAHA IN ISTANBUL
Camel Yamaha Team riders Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards spent the first day of practice for the Grand Prix of Turkey gathering important set-up data after encountering different track conditions to those they enjoyed here season. With this year's event taking place some six months earlier than the inaugural race here last October, overcast skies contributed to cool ambient temperatures of 20ºC and produced low grip levels on track, where Nicky Hayden (Honda) set the free practice pace with a best lap of 1'53.623.
Rossi adapted swiftly to the conditions in the morning and set the third fastest time of the opening practice, but he struggled to make any significant improvements in the afternoon and ended up eleventh on the overall time sheets. Edwards, meanwhile, was sixth fastest in both sessions -- improving his lap time in the afternoon by 1.4 seconds. With plenty of work still to do the only worry for the riders now is the threat of rain, with dark clouds hovering over the circuit and local forecasts predicting a downfall tomorrow.
COLIN EDWARDS (6th, 1'54.042, 38 laps)
"We started out with the base setting from Qatar but it didn't work very well for us here. Basically we then decided to go with a newer front tyre than the one we've been using in testing and it went much better. Combined with a few tweaks to the suspension I built up my confidence in the front and I was able to lay down some good lap times. In the end we put a pretty consistent run together and I'm happy. We're still getting some vibrations but it's only in a couple of corners and we can work around them with more time on the bike tomorrow; hopefully it will stay dry. The track was really dirty this morning but it started to clean up in the afternoon. If it stays dry then the grip should improve as the weekend goes on, but they're saying it might rain so I guess we'll have to wait and see."
VALENTINO ROSSI (11th, 1'54.662, 43 laps)
"This morning we were fast straight away and this was quite encouraging. We were third and we thought that we would be able to continue in this way during the afternoon. However we made some modifications in order to improve the acceleration and unfortunately we lost a lot of grip in braking. In fact our lap times were more or less the same in the afternoon but the track was about half a second faster -- this morning it was quite dirty -- and now we are in 11th place. I am a bit worried but also quite positive because we made some changes at the end of the session, back towards this morning's settings, and we improved a lot and set our fastest lap of the day. So far we don't have any vibration and so we hope that it won't appear tomorrow if the grip improves."
DAVIDE BRIVIO -- CAMEL YAMAHA TEAM DIRECTOR
"In the morning things went well for Valentino and in the afternoon they went well for Colin so you could say we had a balanced day! The good news is that we have been able to work as we would on a normal weekend, without the distractions caused by the problems we experienced in the first race. We collected a lot of good information today that we can put to use tomorrow and find a way forward with the set-up of the bikes. The only question mark is the rain so the only thing we ask for is at least a few dry laps so that we can evaluate the solutions we come up with tonight. Valentino lost his feeling a little bit this afternoon but we will compare the data from the whole day and find the best way to work tomorrow."