Italian GP: Tech 3 Yamaha qualifying report

Super sixth for Edwards in scorching hot Mugello Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Colin Edwards was in sparkling form during qualifying for the Italian MotoGP to secure a place on the second row of the grid for tomorrow's eagerly anticipated Mugello...

Super sixth for Edwards in scorching hot Mugello

Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Colin Edwards was in sparkling form during qualifying for the Italian MotoGP to secure a place on the second row of the grid for tomorrow's eagerly anticipated Mugello race.

The Texan made a blistering start to the session, immediately fighting his way into the top three as Yamaha dominated the early stages with Jorge Lorenzo and home hero Valentino Rossi also in early contention for pole position.

Working on front-end geometry settings to improve the agility of his YZR-M1 machine for the fast changes of direction at the spectacular Mugello circuit, Edwards clocked his best time of 1.49.547 with 13 minutes remaining. That put him third quickest, but in an enthralling final ten minutes of a session run in sunny conditions, the 35-year-old slipped down to the second row for tomorrow's 23-lap race, ending just 0.4s off the front row.

British rider James Toseland had to settle for 14th place on the grid with a best time of 1.50.537, though he is confident he has the pace on race tyres to mount an assault on the top eight tomorrow.

Toseland found it difficult to find a comfortable rear shock setting to help the 28-year-old take full advantage of the extra grip from the soft rear Bridgestone tyre. He set his best time on his last flying lap and he was only 0.5s away from a place on the third row and 0.2s outside of the top ten.

Colin Edwards 6th 1.49.547 -- 23 laps

"I never plan on going out and following anybody but right at the start of the session Valentino (Rossi) was right in front of me and he had no problem with me following. So taking into account he's the Mugello expert I got in behind him to see if I could learn something and I picked up a couple of tricks. In a couple of places like the chicanes he hits the apex later at the first part to get a better drive out of the second part. I was more sweeping through them without getting a really good drive, so that helped me a bit. I was out on an old front tyre and a new rear and my race times were pretty consistent and I'm sure I can run 1.49s in the race. For me the harder rear tyre, which we'll have to use because of the high track temperature, has just as much grip as the softer one, which shows what a great job Bridgestone has done. I had a couple of small issues with front-end movement, which we improved and that's a big bonus. We changed the geometry to help with the front stability and it helped make the bike much more agile. And that's crucial here with the fast changes of direction. You really need to flow round here without having to muscle the bike around because that gets pretty tough for 23 laps. I'm really looking forward to tomorrow and putting on a good show for my guys at Tech 3 who have been awesome again."

James Toseland 14th 1.50.537- 24 laps

"I'm pretty frustrated because I feel I should be much higher up the grid. As I know from other races earlier this season, while I can run the lap times from around sixth to tenth place, the times in this class are so close that it can be hard to fight your way through in the race. So being on the fifth row makes it incredibly difficult. We were playing around with the suspension settings all weekend and been going in the right direction, but when I upped my pace on the softer compound tyre the rear shock setting wasn't quite right. When the rear tyre was loaded as I opened the throttle it just had a harsh feeling with little movement, so we weren't finding as much grip from the tyre as we could do. We made some changes in the session without making any big progress and right at the end on my last soft tyre we found something a bit better. But it was too late unfortunately and if we had found that direction a bit earlier it would have given me more time to build up my pace on the softer tyre. I'm frustrated because I feel I can be strong at this track, but I'll work hard with my guys tonight to try and find a better setting. I'm still confident that I can do good times in the race and gain a few places for a good result and as always I'll never give up."

-credit: tech 3

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