Motegi monsoon frustrates Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team pairing Colin Edwards and James Toseland will start the Japanese MotoGP race from fifth and tenth places on the grid after torrential rain forced today's decisive ...
Motegi monsoon frustrates Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team pairing Colin Edwards and James Toseland will start the Japanese MotoGP race from fifth and tenth places on the grid after torrential rain forced today's decisive qualifying session to be abandoned.
A frustrating day had started in stunning fashion for 35-year-old Edwards, who produced a brilliant display of wet weather riding in this morning's rain-hit second free practice session at the Twin Ring Motegi. Only reigning world champion Valentino Rossi could lap within half-a-second of the American - a performance made even more impressive considering today was Edwards' first chance to properly assess Bridgestone's rain tyre.
Hopes that Edwards could continue his fantastic pace to challenge for pole position were dashed as the rain worsened in the build-up to this afternoon's qualifying session. Race Direction decided to delay the session by 55 minutes with the deluge leaving several large patches of standing water scattered around the 2.983 miles circuit. Circuit staff also placed sandbags on the perimeter at some sections of the circuit to prevent water flooding across the track, but with no let up in the downpour, a decision was taken to abandon qualifying at 3pm. Grid positions were decided on combined practice times, with times posted in yesterday dry practice session counting.
That left Edwards on the second row for tomorrow's 24-lap race and British rider Toseland 10th. Toseland had a difficult wet practice this morning, his first outing on Bridgestone's rain rubber hindered by a front fork issue.
Toseland though is determined to deliver a positive result for Yamaha in its home race, his confidence boosted by the competitive pace he set yesterday on Bridgestone's hard compound slick rear tyre.
Today's rain disruption comes less than two weeks since the opening race in Qatar was delayed by nearly 24 hours because of heavy rain
Colin Edwards 5th -- 1.49.697
"That was pretty frustrating when you consider the lack of track time we already get now. But it was impossible to ride out there. There was a lot of standing water and it wasn't even worth going out and trying. This morning was really good in the rain, though I have to say thanks to Valentino and his crew because they got a pretty good rain setting from last year. But this is the first day I've been on the Bridgestone rain tyre. I ran it in Jerez in testing but it was just damp and nowhere near full wet. The rain tyres are really impressive. You can actually push them and get load and that to me is a new thing. Now I can push a bit and that was pretty good fun with so much feel. Before I've just had to roll around in the rain and not really have the feel to push too hard. The Bridgestone front rain tyre is like their slick, it's just magic. I'm a front-end guy and the confidence it gives is amazing. It is a bit annoying that I couldn't go out this afternoon and try for the front row but I'm happy with fifth. It's a shame I didn't go out on the soft tyre yesterday but I got a full 19 laps experience on the hard tyre, and that will be the race tyre. If the temperature comes up a bit too I should be in even better shape. So rain or shine I feel ready for a good race."
James Toseland 10th -- 1.50.342
"Not being able to get out and ride showed how much rain there was out there and it's incredible when you think about what happened in Qatar. This morning it wasn't raining that hard at all, but even at that stage there were a few puddles starting to appear, so I thought if it got any worse we would really find it difficult to go out because in two or three places the standing water was getting quite bad. It wasn't dangerous at that point but the rain has really come down this afternoon and made it impossible. If it is dry tomorrow I mostly ran the hard tyre yesterday, so hopefully I'll be sat on the grid in a little bit better position than some of the others. I'm a bit annoyed because until the end of yesterday's session I was in sixth or seventh, and if I'd put another tyre in I could have been on the second row maybe, which would have been great. I feel with the set-up we have and the distance I've done on the hard tyres puts me in good shape for the race."
-credit: tech 3