Portuguese GP: Yamaha Tech 3 Friday notes

Edwards lapping fast, Toseland learning fast at windy Estoril Colin Edwards rode his updated Tech 3 Yamaha to the third fastest time on an opening day of free practice at the Estoril circuit in Portugal hit by unpredictable conditions. Riding...

Edwards lapping fast, Toseland learning fast at windy Estoril

Colin Edwards rode his updated Tech 3 Yamaha to the third fastest time on an opening day of free practice at the Estoril circuit in Portugal hit by unpredictable conditions. Riding the latest spec pneumatic valve YZR-M1 motor for the first time today, Edwards shrugged off a disappointing morning session run in rapidly changing wet/dry conditions to figure prominently throughout this afternoon's wind affected but dry session.

Once he'd climbed to the top of the timesheets for the first time after just 12 minutes, Edwards never dropped outside of the top three as he took full advantage of the extra acceleration and top speed from the latest Yamaha engine.

MotoGP world championship leader Dani Pedrosa and 2007 Estoril winner Valentino Rossi only beat his best lap of 1.38.632, as the engine upgrade saw Edwards clock the fourth fastest top speed this afternoon.

British rider James Toseland ended an eventful day with a best time of 1.40.055. With no previous experience of the challenging Estoril circuit, this morning's rain-hit hour did little to help shorten his steep learning curve. But Toseland showed what a fast learner he is with his time just 1.5s off the leading pace and 13th quickest. Toseland used his spare machine for the session after he suffered a low speed tumble at turn seven on his first lap out of the pits.

Colin Edwards - Position: 3rdTime: 1.38.632Laps: 44 laps
"This morning was a bit of nightmare and I couldn't understand why. The bike wouldn't go anywhere. It was spinning but we found something before this afternoon and just got going. I felt good immediately with a setting that is pretty much what I've run in Qatar and Jerez. But the new engine is phenomenal. It is so good and I'm so happy. With the old engine when you went from third to sixth gear it didn't really go anywhere. Whereas now, every time you shift a gear it feels like it's building more steam. I got behind Valentino and for the first time I can remember I was able to stick with him on the straight. Normally he'd just get smaller as he disappeared into the distance. We have been lacking three-tenths at a track like this with a long straight, and now we have it in hand and it feels good. So I'm really, really happy and thanks to Yamaha because it is a big improvement. I've done some pretty consistent runs on used tyres but I always go good at this track. I feel comfortable and the bike and engine feel fantastic."

James Toseland - Position: 13thTime: 1.40.055 Laps: 42 laps
"It is quite a difficult track just on the basis that you have got such tight corners, particularly at the end of the high speed straight where you have to get the braking point for the slow first corner dead right. Then there's the tricky chicane, which you just have to ride round and round to get the hang of it. A cold tyre caught me out on my first lap this afternoon. I think with the rain this morning the track wasn't so clean. I went into the corner steady and at a pace where you don't even think about crashing. Next thing I was on sat on my backside and twisted my right ankle again that I hurt in testing at Jerez. But I'm really happy with progress. I'm not too far off already and we effectively lost a session this morning with the weather. The new engine is definitely better. It has more acceleration and the lines you take are different because the power comes in quite aggressive when you are hard on the throttle. But you can exit the corner better with the extra power. It is a big step forward and I'd like to thank Yamaha. They always said the latest we would get the engine was Estoril and they stuck to that promise.

-credit: yrc

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Valentino Rossi , Colin Edwards , James Toseland , Dani Pedrosa