EDWARDS ON TOP BUT ROSSI INJURED ON EVENTFUL FIRST DAY AT ASSEN Camel Yamaha Team rider Colin Edwards adapted better than any other rider to the track changes and mixed weather conditions that affected the first day of action at the Dutch TT ...
EDWARDS ON TOP BUT ROSSI INJURED ON EVENTFUL FIRST DAY AT ASSEN
Camel Yamaha Team rider Colin Edwards adapted better than any other rider to the track changes and mixed weather conditions that affected the first day of action at the Dutch TT today, clocking the fastest time in the afternoon session after lapping sixth quickest in the morning. The main concern for Yamaha at Assen today, however, was for the condition of Edwards' team-mate Valentino Rossi, who suffered a high-speed crash in the morning and was taken to a local hospital for treatment to a number of minor injuries.
The Italian was two laps into his second run of the morning when the rear tyre of his YZR-M1 machine lost its grip on the cool Assen circuit and threw him into the air in the fast left-hander before the final chicane. After undergoing x-rays in the Clinica Mobile, which confirmed hairline fractures to the pisiform bone on his right hand and his left malleolus (ankle), Rossi was then taken to the Assen Hospital for a thorax scan which thankfully showed no further damage. He bravely returned to the track in the afternoon and set the twelfth fastest time despite being in some pain and discomfort.
COLIN EDWARDS (1st -- 1'38.144; 28 laps)
"The bike felt great today and it was easy to ride from the first moment I went out onto the track. Even with the changes this circuit still has plenty of banking and it creates its own load, so that saves a lot of time with the setting and you can more or less ride anything here. I've ridden a lot of inferior bikes to the M1 here and had a few problems but this is such a great bike -- we've barely had to touch it today. I've always gone well here and it's a circuit I've always liked but it seems that from the first time I raced here in about 1995 they have made some kind of change each year to spoil the track. I think the latest changes are a step too far and I don't think we can call this 'The Cathedral' of MotoGP anymore -- certainly the Dutch TT has lost a lot of its magic. It was a strange day because of that and because of the injury to my team-mate. I was glad to see him back in the garage this afternoon and hopefully we can work together to go much faster tomorrow."
VALENTINO ROSSI (12th -- 1'39.458; 23 laps)
"I'm okay and I would like everyone to relax about it, even if it's been quite hard for me to ride! I have a little fracture on my left foot and also a small fracture on my right wrist, so when I give gas and brake it's really hard. I don't have much power or feeling. Plus I got a big bruise on my thorax and I couldn't breathe well for a long time. I had all the examinations necessary to check if everything was okay and with some painkillers I was able to ride this afternoon. The problem this morning was that we started with a tyre that was a bit too hard on the left. When it started to rain I stopped and when I started again I felt that I didn't have enough grip on the left side. I tried to do another lap to see if the grip would improve, but in a really fast point, with the bike leaned over on the left side, I took a flight through the air! It was a big high-side and the first time I hit the ground was very hard. It's a really unlucky thing for us because here I can feel that our bike is working really well, as Colin has shown. The track is not like the old Assen, but anyway it's not so bad. I need to see how it will be when I can ride at the maximum and hopefully I will feel in better shape tomorrow so I can do that."
DAVIDE BRIVIO -- CAMEL YAMAHA TEAM DIRECTOR
"I suppose it is fair to say that was a different day to normal! On one hand it was very positive because Colin was fast throughout and both he and his bike look good around this circuit. Of course Valentino had a big problem this morning but it was amazing to see him back out on track in the afternoon after such a heavy fall. Despite the pain he was in he managed to complete some laps and also gave us some feedback so let's just hope his condition improves. If Colin can continue like this and Valentino can get back to a decent level of fitness, then we should see them both on top on Saturday."