Toseland and Edwards eager to race after impressive end to winter testing James Toseland and Colin Edwards proved they are ready for the start of the 2008 MotoGP season after the Tech 3 Yamaha team successfully concluded a long winter testing ...
Toseland and Edwards eager to race after impressive end to winter testing
James Toseland and Colin Edwards proved they are ready for the start of the 2008 MotoGP season after the Tech 3 Yamaha team successfully concluded a long winter testing schedule in Qatar tonight. Toseland came tantalisingly close to topping the timesheets for the first time in his short MotoGP career after an inspired performance on the second night of testing under the Losail International Circuit's floodlights. Toseland led the way for three hours tonight after posting a best lap of 1.54.592, with the British rider taking full advantage of Michelin's dominant qualifying tyre. His time, which was 0.5s faster than Valentino Rossi's 2007 pole position, was only bettered with just seven minutes remaining when fellow Yamaha rookie Jorge Lorenzo went faster by the narrowest of margins. Edwards was also on fine form to post the fourth fastest time, with the American delighted at significant improvements made by new Michelin race tyres. Edwards set his best time on a Michelin qualifier, but long distance runs on race tyres produced encouraging results. The Tech 3 team now has a short break before the 2008 season gets underway with the historic first night race in Qatar on March 9.
James Toseland 2nd 1.54.592 -- 52 laps
"I know this track pretty well so it didn't take too long to get into the groove of the place even on this bike. But to do the time I did and finish second is pretty amazing. I don't think I did a 58 on my superbike, so to think I'm four seconds faster than a superpole lap is incredible. And I'm half-a-second under Valentino's pole and that is really encouraging. It just shows how much my confidence has grown with the Michelin qualifying tyre because you really have to trust how to get the best out of the extra grip. I knew it was a quick lap but it was a little bit faster than I expected. It was just great to see all those great names underneath mine. It would have been nice to finish fastest but I'm still happy. I wanted to come to MotoGP and be competitive and I'm showing I can. Now I can't wait for the first race. Luckily for me the experience of the Tech 3 team, and Michelin and Yamaha working so hard, it is all coming together very quickly. It is only because of the experience of the people around me that performances like this have come so quickly. My guys have brought me to this level much quicker than I expected, and hopefully we can convert the good testing performances into the season."
Colin Edwards 4th -- 1.55.464 -- 50 laps
"Today we mainly tested tyres to try and find a good race tyre and give Michelin some good information. I found a race tyre I really liked. Yesterday in my long run my fastest lap was a 57.3, which isn't going to be fast enough. With the tyres I found today I did an eight-lap run and on that last lap I did a 56.4. And that was with 22 laps on the rear and 26 laps on the front. I don't know if a 56.4 on the 22nd lap is good enough to win the race but I'm sure Michelin will bring us something even better for next weekend. I know James liked a new Michelin front and I'd tried it before him and I fell in love with it. We're not talking five per cent better but it felt 25 per cent better. It works so well in the cold temperatures so Michelin has been working really hard. To come here and find a front tyre that I'm that happy with and James is also happy with shows we are definitely moving in the right direction. This place you generally always have an issue with front tyre grip because it is such a hard track on the front. But now we don't have any issues and that's credit to Michelin. I'm excited for the first race. The Tech 3 team, Yamaha and Michelin have been working really hard and as whole team we have done a great job this winter."