Japanese GP: Tech 3 Yamaha race report

Top ten for Toseland, Edwards fights back into points in Japan Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team duo James Toseland and Colin Edwards secured hard fought points-scoring finishes in Yamaha's home race at the Twin Ring Motegi today. British rider ...

Top ten for Toseland, Edwards fights back into points in Japan

Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team duo James Toseland and Colin Edwards secured hard fought points-scoring finishes in Yamaha's home race at the Twin Ring Motegi today.

British rider Toseland gave himself a welcome confidence boost with a determined ride to ninth place in the 24-lap encounter, which took place in windy but dry conditions after another weekend dominated by rain. Opting to run the softer compound Bridgestone tyre, Toseland made a storming start from the fourth row of the grid, crossing the line at the end of the first lap in seventh place. The 28-year-old secured his first top ten finish of the campaign with a superb attacking display in the final stages, holding off the persistent challenge of Chris Vermeulen and Randy de Puniet. American Edwards encountered a small problem in the early stages of the race but once he was able to demonstrate his true potential, the 35-year-old reeled off some blistering lap times. At times he ran the same pace as the top five as he fought his way through the field to a highly commendable 12th, setting the sixth fastest time in the race to miss out on a top ten finish by three seconds.

The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team now heads to Jerez next weekend for the start of the European leg of the MotoGP world championship.

James Toseland - Position: 9th Time:

"I needed to be back in the top ten, so today was the step I've been looking for. We made a big step with the front-end setting on Friday in just the 45 minutes of dry track time we had this weekend and it helped me a lot. The comfort on the braking was much better and I was able to pass a couple of guys on the brakes today, which was good. I went for the soft rear tyre just because that's what I'd run most on Friday. We knew the soft one would go the distance, but it wouldn't be as strong in the latter stages of the race with the temperature being hotter today. But I didn't want to take any risks by running the harder compound, particularly as we knew it would take a couple of laps to get to temperature. In the early part of the race I had quite a bit more grip than some of the guys and I might have been able to pass (Casey) Stoner and (Loris) Capirossi) if I was more comfortable with the bike on a full fuel load. That would have pushed me a bit further up earlier in the race when I had an advantage with the softer tyre. It was a good battle on the last lap with Vermeulen. He passed me briefly at the end of the back straight, but I managed to keep him at bay. I'm happy for my team because they've stood behind me and everybody has kept their morale up, and now we've got a result we can build on."

Colin Edwards - Position: 12th Time:

"That was not at all what I expected but I can't turn the clock back. I wish I could because I believe I could have fought for the podium. We had a small issue at the start of the race and I simply couldn't ride how I wanted to. I kept my head down and persevered throughout and perhaps a few more laps I could have chased down the guys in front for a top ten. I couldn't have ridden any harder today and I did my absolute best for Yamaha. I was really confident going into the race because I was one of the few guys who had done a lot of laps on the harder compound tyre in the dry on Friday. So with the track temperature coming up a lot compared to how cool it was on Friday, I felt that experience we gained would really help. When I got going in the race my lap times were as quick as the top five, so it's a case of wondering what might have been today. We'll look to bounce back in Jerez next weekend because I feel like I'm riding really well."

Herve Poncharal - Team Manager

"We obviously had higher expectations but I'm pleased that both James and Colin showed their determination throughout the race. It was good to see James fighting strongly in the top ten and this result will have given his confidence a big boost. He has had a difficult winter and first race, but he's remained incredibly focused and this is a good platform for him to build on for the rest of the season. I'd also like to thank Colin for his efforts today in difficult circumstances. He had a problem before the start and we are still investigating the cause with Yamaha. But his pace in the second half of the race was very impressive, so we know that Colin is in very good form heading into Europe. I'd like to say big congratulations to Yamaha for its one-two in front of the Japanese fans. It shows the YZR-M1 is a very strong package and that Yamaha is the brand to beat again in 2009."

-credit: yamaha

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Colin Edwards , James Toseland , Randy de Puniet , Chris Vermeulen , Herve Poncharal
Teams Tech 3