Japanese GP: Tech 3 Yamaha race report

Tech 3 perform well in Yamaha's home race Capitalising on a strong start from the third row of the grid, Tech 3 rider Edwards reeled off a series of consistently fast lap times to mount a serious assault on the top six in the second half of the...

Tech 3 perform well in Yamaha's home race

Capitalising on a strong start from the third row of the grid, Tech 3 rider Edwards reeled off a series of consistently fast lap times to mount a serious assault on the top six in the second half of the race. The American managed to claw back a three second deficit on Loris Capirossi to shadow the Italian from lap 12 onwards.

Edwards exerted intense pressure on the Italian, winner of the last three races at the challenging Twin Ring Motegi circuit, and he cut the gap to Capirossi by 0.5s in the last two laps. But Edwards had to settle for seventh, a result which is still a big confidence boost with today's 24-lap race his best result since the Dutch GP at Assen in June. He moved back into the top six in the overall standings ahead of Chris Vermeulen.

Team mate James Toseland also rode a strong race in front of an appreciative crowd of 57,865 fans as he was embroiled in a nail-biting battle with John Hopkins. Toseland rode superbly to keep his more experienced rival at bay for 15 laps before he slipped to 11th on the last lap.

Today's result saw the Tech 3 Yamaha squad remain firmly in the hunt for fourth place in the Team World Championship.

Colin Edwards: Position:7th, Time;+25.918

"I got a good start and settled in behind Valentino and Jorge at the first corner and I was happy because I've been caught up in a couple of incidents there in the past. I threw it in and then I just saw this front wheel staring straight at me. It was Dovizioso but luckily we all made through but the first lap I was just trying to get some heat into the rear tyre. I got it working and got into a good pace and saw that Loris was coming back to me.

I was pushing hard but I was having a few issues with the rear spinning, which has been a problem all weekend. But then Loris made a mistake and he was right out to the kerb at the first corner. He was nearly in the dirt and I was right on his tail. I was behind him for what seemed like forever but it was fun. I could almost reach out and touch his back wheel but I couldn't do anything to get by him. Loris's bike was really good coming off the corner. It obviously has some bottom grunt because all I could do was watch him and I couldn't do anything with him.

I couldn't get close enough to out-brake him and with the spinning problem I couldn't get any acceleration grip out of the corner to line him up for a pass. I put my head down and I was riding as hard as I could, but with the spinning issue I was losing a bit of corner speed, so I was braking extra deep to keep all the weight on the front to run some momentum in the corner

Seventh is not where I want to be but it feels good to get a solid race under my belt. It feels forever since I did that, so it is something to build on for the last three races."

James Toseland - Position:11th, Time:+37.574

"I gave it my all on every lap and I stayed consistent without making any mistakes. But with that lack of dry track time on Friday it cost me because I was only a couple of tenths slower than fifth position and that time you can find on a dry day with the set-up. But the guys in front were so consistent that I couldn't really get close. One slight problem like a wet day makes it really difficult to get right on the pace.

I was with Colin and Shinya early on but I'd been playing with the rear shock all weekend to try and get some grip at full lean angle. It was the best it has been but I was still losing a lot of time on the exit and they were just pulling away from me a bit. And because it is so stop and start here, if you can exit the corners better it gives you a good advantage and you can pull a couple of tenths a lap. I really wanted tenth but John came underneath me at turn one on the last lap and I tried to pass him back in the second part of it down the straight. But he came back on my side and he put my clutch on. It slipped my clutch and he was just able to get a bit of an advantage.

I tried to get him back but he didn't put a foot wrong for the rest of the lap. It's disappointing to have worked so hard to keep that place and lose it at the end. At least now I can look ahead to three races where I know the tracks, so hopefully we can end the season on a high."

Herve Poncharal - Team Manager

"First of all I want to say very big congratulations to Yamaha and Valentino for such a great world championship success. Yamaha has a great bike with a great champion, and it is great for them to win the title in Yamaha's home race. I'm also very happy with our performance today.

Colin did one of his best races of the season when you consider the recent run he has been on. He was pushing hard right to the end and he survived a lot of pressure from behind and at one stage we thought he might pass Loris and get a top six. I'm happy he climbed oneposition in the championship to get some points back on Suzuki in the team championship, so after the disappointment of Indianapolis and Misano I think we saw Colin back where he belongs.

James also rode a really strong race and he fought very hard as always. It was another hard weekend on his first time at this track, not helped again by losing some dry track time. I think both of them gave their maximum and that's all we can ask and we can look forward to Australia now with high hopes of even better results."

-credit: yamaha-racing.com

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Loris Capirossi , Colin Edwards , John Hopkins , James Toseland , Chris Vermeulen , Herve Poncharal