Edwards and Crutchlow make promising start in Jerez
he Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team kicked off the European phase of the 2011 MotoGP World Championship in Jerez today, with Colin Edwards and Cal Crutchlow both posting competitive times on the opening day of practice.
In warm but windy conditions at the 2.748 miles circuit, Edwards set a best time of 1.41.063 to finish tenth overall on combined times.
Edwards continued his excellent start to 2011 in this morning's opening practice session, the experienced American once again the leading non-factory rider in eighth position as he concentrated on refining the set-up of his YZR-M1 machine to gain more turning performance.
With track temperatures almost 20 degrees hotter for this afternoon's session, further set-up experiments gave Edwards and his crew valuable information to make further adjustments ahead of tomorrow's final practice and qualifying session.
Today presented Crutchlow with his first opportunity to acquaint himself with the challenging Jerez circuit. The British rider applied himself to the task with typical determination and enthusiasm and he posted a best lap of 1.41.854 to finish 15th on the timesheets.
Despite his minimal experience of the Jerez circuit, the 2009 World Supersport champion was able to demonstrate his undoubted potential by lapping faster than circuit specialists Hector Barbera and Toni Elias for the majority of the morning and afternoon session. He was one of only seven riders to lap faster in hotter conditions this afternoon and is confident overnight set-up tweaks will help him take another step forward tomorrow.
Jerez kicks off the long-awaited European leg of the 2011 MotoGP World Championship with a large and partisan crowd of over 100,000 expected to flock to the Andalucía venue.
Colin Edwards 10th 1.41.063 – 39 laps:
“We tried a bit of an experimental set-up with one bike we thought would work to help with the turning performance but it didn't quite give us the result we were anticipating. It worked in some areas but it created some other issues, so we'll go back to more of a similar set-up to what we ran in Qatar for tomorrow and we know that works. I was actually faster using the different setting but I just don't feel I can run that pace consistently over a race distance. What made it really difficult today was the wind. It was really gusting hard in some places, so you just had to be pretty careful because it was easy to get caught out. You just had to pay attention and get a feel for which way the wind was blowing because at least it was consistent in one direction."
Cal Crutchlow 15th 1.41.854 – 36 laps:
“I felt like I learned the circuit pretty quickly and I was happy with my performance this morning. But this afternoon I didn't really make the improvement I was looking for and that was a lot to do with the track temperature being much higher. You only have to look at the times of the fast guys to see the hotter conditions made it hard because nobody in the top seven was faster this afternoon. I was a little bit quicker, so I've improved and gained some time, but I needed to make a bigger jump than I did. With the track temperature a lot higher it made the bike feel quite a bit different compared to this morning. I'm sure I can improve the front-end feel because the wind was so strong it was blowing me off line. The front needs to be more planted so we've got some ideas to improve tomorrow. Considering my lack of experience at this track, I'm satisfied because the times are pretty close and I know we can improve.”
-source: tech 3