Fantastic finale for Tech 3 Yamaha in Valencia claimed a superb fourth place in the Team World Championship standings in today's Valencia MotoGP race. The 15-point haul collected by Edwards and Toseland in today's 30-lap battle saw the Tech 3 ...
Fantastic finale for Tech 3 Yamaha in Valencia
claimed a superb fourth place in the Team World Championship standings in today's Valencia MotoGP race. The 15-point haul collected by Edwards and Toseland in today's 30-lap battle saw the Tech 3 squad seize fourth position by a single point from Suzuki's official factory team, ending the 18-round campaign as the highest placed independent team.
American Edwards played a starring role in the success, his superb start from the second row of the grid giving him the perfect platform to mount a bid for his first top six finish since he took third in Assen back in June. Edwards quickly claimed third from Nicky Hayden on the first lap to settle in behind Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa.
But with minimal dry set-up time after another weather-hit weekend, Edwards quickly encountered some rear grip issues to find himself back in sixth on lap six. He quickly adapted to the decreasing grip and crucially began to pull away from Suzuki's Loris Capirossi, maintaining a constant pace to the end.
Toseland also played a critical role in today's fantastic finale as he closed his rookie campaign with a hard fought 11th position. The British rider shadowed fellow Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo for the opening fifteen laps in a close dice for 11th place, twice passing the Spaniard momentarily.
Toseland also ran into grip issues in the closing stages, but he rode a brilliant final three laps to fend off Sylvain Guintoli, John Hopkins and Chris Vermeulen.
Colin Edwards - Position: 6thTime: +32.209
"It has been a while since I finished in the top six and for this result to help the team finish fourth in the Team World Championship makes it extra rewarding. I'm pleased for Herve Poncharal and the team because they deserve it. We had a couple of races where we gave a lot of points away, but for an independent team we have done a fantastic job together and it was a year to remember. I got a great start and rode around the outside of Nicky at the first corner to slot in behind Casey and Dani. I actually felt pretty comfortable at that point. Nicky passed me though down the front straight and I started to spin the rear tyre a bit just as the other guys started to get into the groove. The next thing I know, everybody was disappearing up the road and there was nothing I could do. With so little dry track time we gambled with the setting and I ran a softer tyre and at the end I was having a few problems. My bike felt great but I just didn't have a lot of grip and this isn't the best track for Yamaha. We don't have the initial raw grunt that you need on a tight and twisty track like this with a lot of low speed acceleration points. I'd like to thank all my guys for their hard work throughout the season and to Yamaha for their continued support. Finally I'd like to say a big thanks to Michelin. I had the greatest moments of my career with them and I've enjoyed our time together. I'm looking forward to a bit of a break now before coming back in Jerez next month to begin working as hard as ever for 2009."
James Toseland - Position: 11thTime: +52.107
"It was a hard race to finish a pretty hard season and while it wasn't how I wanted to finish on a personal note, it was great that I contributed to the team getting fourth by a point. I'm glad I managed to hang on at the end there because I was coming under a lot of pressure. In the first half of the race I was probably a bit quicker than Jorge but I just couldn't make a pass on him stick. I got him a couple of times but I made mistakes and let him back through. One time I put my hand in the air to apologise for a close move going into the first corner, and as I put my hand back for the second corner I missed my braking marker. So I'm annoyed with myself about that. I was in a real fight at the end and I was just struggling for a bit of grip. We tried quite a big change on the set-up and it worked well for the first half of the race, but towards the end I had to ride a bit defensive and make sure I didn't lose too many places. The team deserve to be fourth in the championship this year and I was determined to help them achieve it. Tech 3 and Yamaha have given me unbelievable support in my rookie year and I was pleased to battle right to the last lap to get that result for them. I have learned a lot in 2008, and I'm looking forward to working hard in the winter and making a big impression next season."
Herve Poncharal - Team Manager
"It was a fantastic way for us to end the season and I really want to thank Colin and James for their effort. It was a tough weekend with the weather conditions but it was very important to end on a positive note and we were reasonably confident when both of them qualified on the second row. Colin made a great start and he did a good race, keeping a really good rhythm. In the first half of the race, James looked even a little bit quicker than Jorge but he couldn't quite pass him. He pushed really hard throughout even though he didn't have 100 per cent confidence, but it was a strong result and by hanging on at the end under a lot of pressure he helped us get fourth in the Team Championship and we beat two full factory teams. That was our target before this weekend and we achieved it. I'd like to congratulate Yamaha again for an incredible season. They gave us a great bike in 2008 and I'd also like to say a big thanks to Michelin for their support. Thanks to them and Yamaha we had one pole position and two podium finishes. We will miss Michelin but we now must look forward to a new era. Everyone at Tech 3 is now looking forward to a quick break and we will be back raring to start our 2009 preparations in Jerez at the end of November."