Catalunyan GP: Tech 3 Yamaha Friday practice report

Promising start for Monster Yamaha Tech 3 in Catalunya Colin Edwards and James Toseland were in encouraging form today as preparations for Sunday's Catalunya MotoGP race kicked off in scorching hot conditions at the Montmelo circuit. Edwards...

Promising start for Monster Yamaha Tech 3 in Catalunya

Colin Edwards and James Toseland were in encouraging form today as preparations for Sunday's Catalunya MotoGP race kicked off in scorching hot conditions at the Montmelo circuit.

Edwards rode his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1 to the eighth best time, the American clocking a quickest lap of 1.44.419 to finish just over half-a-second away from a top five placing. The 35-year-old was as high as fourth place at one stage as he spent the session trying to iron out a small front-end issue he encountered as track temperatures peaked at 49 degrees.

British rider Toseland provided further evidence that he is close to being back to brilliant best as he ran in the top five inside the final 20 minutes of a closely fought session, with just 1.7s splitting the top 12 riders. Quickly adapting to a new rear shock setting to help his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine cope with the notoriously bumpy Montmelo surface, Toseland ended the session with the 10th best time on his final lap.

His best time of 1.44.580 was just over 0.4s away from a top six finish, with Toseland confident he can repeat the stunning top six finish he claimed in Catalunya in 2008.

Colin Edwards 8th 1.44.419 -- 24 laps

"Today I didn't feel very comfortable at all and I was having an issue with the front-end feeling. Nothing feels natural and being a front-end guy as much as I am, when the front is not quite right it causes me a problem and today I just couldn't get a comfortable feeling. Keeping the front tyre loaded and generating corner speed is the biggest issue and I'm going to sit down with my guys tonight because we need to try and figure out a way to solve it with a better setting. We've always been able to quickly solve our issues this year so I'm confident we'll come out fighting closer to the front tomorrow. Today though I hit a bit of a brick wall because I was making some changes to the bike that should have improved my feeling but the lap time wasn't any better. I was having a problem getting the bike to turn and it just wasn't comfortable for me to push. If I did push the bike would just run wide and that was costing me time."

James Toseland 10th 1.44.580 - 22 laps

"On paper it doesn't look spectacular but I'm really pleased with today because it was easily my best start to a weekend this season. I was seventh until the final minutes so that's encouraging and at the end I was out on quite an old rear tyre, which was moving around quite a bit. With a new tyre I'm sure I could have got a bit further up, but I wanted to get some information on the hard tyre for the race. We tried a slightly different setting on the rear shock, softening the spring to try and help the bike cushion the bumps a little bit better here because the track is quite bump to be fair. At the beginning we'd gone a bit too soft and that was making the rear of the bike sit a bit too low and we had to make a couple of small changes, but my team did a great job as always because it improved the feeling. We found a bit more grip at the end and I did my best lap on a rear tyre that had already done 16 laps and I was nearly half-a-second quicker than my previous best time, so it shows we're moving in the right direction. After today I feel quite confident for the weekend. It looks like we'll get a good dry weekend and I had a good result here last year. So I'm pleased to have something to build on."

-credit: tech 3

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Colin Edwards , James Toseland
Teams Tech 3