James Toseland third as Tech 3 Yamaha finish on high note James Toseland produced arguably the most outstanding performance on the final day of testing in Phillip Island today as the Tech 3 Yamaha team successfully concluded the long haul phase...
James Toseland third as Tech 3 Yamaha finish on high note
James Toseland produced arguably the most outstanding performance on the final day of testing in Phillip Island today as the Tech 3 Yamaha team successfully concluded the long haul phase of its pre-season testing campaign.
Making only his fourth appearance for the Tech 3 Yamaha team, Toseland took full advantage of his vast Phillip Island track knowledge to finish with the third fastest time of 1.29.754. His best was set on a Michelin qualifying tyre, with only world champions Casey Stoner and Nicky Hayden lapping faster on the final afternoon.
Toseland was one of only five riders to break the 1.30 barrier over the three days. Toseland also gained more crucial experience by completing his first full race simulation on board the 2008 Yamaha YZR-M1. He lapped consistently in the 1.31 bracket during his 27-lap run, as he assessed new front and rear suspension settings and a revised electronics set-up in full race conditions. His best lap on race tyres today was a 1.31.012.
American Edwards was fifth quickest today, also using a Michelin qualifying tyre to set his best time of 1.29.795 in sunny but windy conditions at the 4.445km circuit. Experimenting with chassis set-up to try and improve rear grip, Edwards was satisfied enough with progress to stop just before 2pm having completed a distance run of 20 laps.
Just five days of testing remain for Toseland and Edwards in Jerez and Qatar, before the new season's spectacular start under floodlights in Doha on March 9.
James Toseland 3rd 1.29.754 -- 89 laps
"I'm really happy. I was always looking forward to coming here with my track knowledge and its nice to see the difference where I stand in the order with that experience. To be at the sharp end of the times and see my name up there has put a bigger smile on my face. Knowing the track I can be on the same line each lap and that's helped me relay my feedback on the bike a lot more precisely to my team. On other tracks I've been finding my way round as well as trying to make a lap time. I was happy with my pace in the race simulation but those extra five or six laps over what I've been used to in superbike were a bit strange. My body just isn't used to that distance but I felt good and wasn't too tired at the end. It is all good experience and its all coming together nicely. I will sleep well tonight on the plane after this performance. Even one of my mechanics said that it is so good to see an English rider at that end of the timesheets rather than at the other end. And the best thing is I can only get faster and stronger. I'm still waiting for some new parts from Yamaha, so there is still plenty of room for improvement, also from Michelin. Everybody is working hard and I'm riding on a wave at the moment."
Colin Edwards 5th 1.29.795 -- 56 laps
"I did a long run to give Michelin some information to see what the tyres could handle. The 20 laps I did I was 20 seconds faster than in the race last year which is positive. This track is a little bit strange because you spend so much time on the side of the tyre trying to build up speed. And that's where Michelin needs to concentrate their efforts so we can generate a little bit of speed. But I'm more motivated than ever because I can see my team and Yamaha working, but to see Michelin put in the same effort and work just as hard adds a lot of motivation. Everybody is working equally hard with me and for me. These guys are putting in the hard days at the moment and I'm really happy with my team. After these six days of testing in Sepang and Phillip Island I'm excited and I'm really looking forward to the first race in Qatar."