Mixed fortunes for Tech 3 Yamaha at damp Donington A rain-hit second day at Donington Park, venue for tomorrow's 30-lap British GP, produced contrasting fortunes for Tech 3 Yamaha duo Colin Edwards and James Toseland. In treacherous conditions,...
Mixed fortunes for Tech 3 Yamaha at damp Donington
A rain-hit second day at Donington Park, venue for tomorrow's 30-lap British GP, produced contrasting fortunes for Tech 3 Yamaha duo Colin Edwards and James Toseland. In treacherous conditions, Edwards was one of the fastest men on track as the American qualified fifth on the grid. But it was a frustrating day for home star Toseland, who will start 16th after preparations for his British GP debut didn't go as smoothly as planned.
Edwards maintained his impressive 100 per cent top six qualifying record in 2008 with a best lap of 1.39.601. At one stage that time moved him as high as second in the decisive final minutes as he opted to run a set-up on his YZR-M1 similar to the one he used to finish second in a weather disrupted Donington clash last year. Despite being dropped off the front row, Edwards is confident he can be a serious contender tomorrow as he goes in search of a third podium in the British GP.
Having previously qualified in the top eight in his first seven races, Toseland will need one of his famous aggressive starts after a lap of 1.41.751 left him in unfamiliar territory on the sixth row. Sporting a new St George's Cross helmet design for his home race, Toseland seemed certain to claim another top six start when he crashed unhurt exiting the final corner in the closing stages. He remounted but crashed again at Schwantz Curve, having earlier tumbled out at Coppice in tricky conditions this morning. Despite a disappointing day, Toseland remains upbeat that he can mount a challenge in front of a large home crowd tomorrow. Ignoring the poor weather conditions today, the vast spectator areas at Donington were awash with Toseland fans roaring on the 27-yearold.
Colin Edwards 5th 1.39.601 - 23 laps
"My team did an awesome job today and I just keep getting more and more impressed with them. We all did about 10 days of work in two hours to get to where we were this afternoon because this morning it just wasn't right. It was a disaster to be honest and it felt like I was sitting on the rear tyre with no front contact. It felt like if something was going to move I was going over the high-side. We played around with the bike and basically went to the set-up I had last year when I finished second and it worked, even though the chassis and engine is different on this bike. Once I got the right feeling I was dropping a second a lap this morning and we didn't really touch the bike much this afternoon. The front tyre I used this morning is the same front tyre I used all afternoon, so I did about 50 laps on a front tyre. We have obviously got no problem with front tyre endurance in the rain and the rear I'm pretty happy with. To me the track is not that bad for grip. The track is very flat but it has probably more grip than most other places. As long as you have load and you can squash the tyre onto the track it probably has more grip than any track. But we worked a lot on the electronics and thanks to my guys again because we got a much better feeling and more grip. I'm confident I can run at the front if it is full wet. Michelin has been doing a lot of work with the performance of the rain tyres on a drying track, so if it does get half and half I should be at the front. Rain or shine we are looking good and I want to get on the podium. This is my most successful track in MotoGP and I'm definitely looking to continue that good record."
James Toseland 16th 1.41.751 - 22 laps
"Basically I made a mess of it. It was difficult conditions and the potential was there for a top six. Everything was going in the right direction but unfortunately I tried a few things that didn't work. Although sixth place was okay I felt like I was on the edge of the setting. I tried to change some things but we never really went in a positive direction. We were running out of time and put ourselves under pressure to get a lap in right at the end and I got on the throttle too early out of the last corner and high-sided myself. I got back on but it damaged the rear brake. I was going through Schwantz Curve and I think it engaged the rear brake and decided to chuck me off again. I think somebody was telling me they didn't want me to do the lap. I'd like to say thanks to the marshals because where I crashed at the last corner was in a bit of dodgy place and they risked a lot to try and get me going. They were true heroes. I've got to look at the positives and if it all went well we'd have been in the top six. The problem is in this class if you don't get it right you are 16th and I'm devastated that these conditions came in June in England. I was eighth yesterday but comfortable in the dry and another dry day I know I could have done a lot better. I had a lack of contact with the rear on the entry again and we really need to find this balance, especially at this track where there is so little grip. Unfortunately with only one hour you don't have the time to take a risk. Both my knees are a bit sore. In the crash this morning a handlebar hit me in the right knee and the second one this afternoon was in a fast place and it bashed me up a bit. It is going to be tough but my fans can be rest assured that I will still be giving it everything tomorrow."