Edwards and Toseland return fresh and fast from summer break Refreshed from the long summer sojourn, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team duo Colin Edwards and James Toseland made a fast return to action at the start of the Portuguese MotoGP weekend ...
Edwards and Toseland return fresh and fast from summer break
Refreshed from the long summer sojourn, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team duo Colin Edwards and James Toseland made a fast return to action at the start of the Portuguese MotoGP weekend today.
In unusually hot and humid conditions at the Estoril circuit, a best lap of 1.38.103 saw Edwards set the fifth best time, the American spending the majority of the session evaluating the harder compound Bridgestone tyres with air temperatures peaking at 25 degrees.
Showing the form that has secured Edwards a new one-year contract with the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 squad for 2010, the 35-year-old was less than a second off Jorge Lorenzo's fastest pace and just 0.137s away from Casey Stoner in fourth.
Determined to finish his MotoGP career in style, Toseland made an impressive start to round 14 of the 2009 world championship, the British rider lapping close to the top six throughout the session.
Improving the set-up of his YZR-M1 machine for the technical demanding Estoril circuit throughout the session, Toseland ended with the eighth fastest time. Toseland was just 0.4s away from the top six at the end with a best lap of 1.38.591, the 28-year-old focusing on improving front-end stability for the heavy braking points at Estoril ahead of Sunday's 28-lap race.
Colin Edwards 5th 1.38.103 -- 24 laps
"I felt pretty good today once I'd blown off a few cobwebs. It was great to have a long break but it was also good to be back on the bike to try and finish the year off strong. My lap times are good enough for the first day and we made some good progress with the set-up of the bike. We tried a few things from the Misano set-up that I didn't get chance to use in that race and right away the bike felt pretty good. I felt the softer compound Bridgestone was a little bit too soft, so I spent most of the session on the harder option and it felt fine. We put a bit more weight on the front and that helped my lap times although I still had a little bit of front-end movement that I need to sort out overnight. Right now the bike feels a bit rigid and while it's not a big issue, if we can cure it I'm sure I can go faster. The track condition feels pretty good because we're not used to this weather at this time of the year in Estoril. We were all expecting wind and rain and we ended up dripping with sweat."
James Toseland 8th 1.38.591 -- 27 laps
"It was a really good session even though it took a while to get back into the swing of things having spent almost a month off the bike since Misano. The team have worked in a really good direction for the entire session and it was a positive start. There is quite a big difference in the level of grip between the soft and the hard compound options from Bridgestone. We'll need the harder tyre for the race but with the softer option being so crucial to get a good qualifying position, we need to preserve the softer one as much as we can for tomorrow afternoon. We had a little issue with the stability of the bike under hard braking. This circuit has a lot of high speed braking points but we seemed to have found a much better balance for that. Now it's a question of making the package we finished the session on more consistent so we can get the maximum grip from the hard tyre."
-credit: tech 3