Edwards on second row, Toseland 13th in Assen A windy but dry qualifying session in Assen today ended with Tech 3 Yamaha rider Colin Edwards claiming his ninth successive top six grid position in 2008. On his first set of Michelin qualifying...
Edwards on second row, Toseland 13th in Assen
A windy but dry qualifying session in Assen today ended with Tech 3 Yamaha rider Colin Edwards claiming his ninth successive top six grid position in 2008.
On his first set of Michelin qualifying tyres, the American posted a best time of 1.36.278 to move to the top of the timesheets as he went in search a fifth front row start in nine races.
Edwards though, who has won three World Superbike races at the historic Assen circuit, was thwarted in his attempts to improve his lap time by minor front tyre issues with his last two sets of qualifying tyres. He eventually had to settle for sixth place, but is confident he can mount a podium challenge in tomorrow's 26-lap race, despite a strong chance of rain. Inclement weather conditions this morning gave Edwards the chance to improve his rain setting after encountering some problems a week ago at the British GP.
James Toseland will start from 13th on the grid as he continued to try and adapt to a new set-up on his YZR that he first tried yesterday. Only a small mistake on his last flying lap cost him the chance of a third row start.
Colin Edwards 6th 1.36.278 - 23 laps
"The grip didn't seem to be quite as good as yesterday and the times on race tyres weren't as good because of this morning's rain. I put my first qualifier on and did a 36.2 and I thought 'awesome.' I told my team I could do a mid-35 because that first qualifier is always just getting used to the extra traction, so I was really confident and I expected to be on the front row. But on my next set of tyres and it just never happened, most corners at this track are right-handers and I had an issue with the right side of the front tyre. It wasn't chatter and it is really strange. I'm not blaming anybody but I can't remember the last time I had this problem. But I couldn't go fast and I didn't have the same issue with the first set and I didn't change the bike. I wasn't too worried because I had another set and went out and it was the same problem but even worse on the left side of the front tyre. The right was perfect but I was struggling to get my knee on the ground on the left and it was weird. We need to have a look at the data and talk it over with the guys but it has really thrown me because I'm not sure what caused it. But I'm ready for tomorrow whether it's raining or not. I was pleased it rained this morning because we got the bike set-up good for the rain. I can't complain too much being on the second row with some of the problems I had."
James Toseland 13th 1.36.978
"I wasn't on a bad lap on the last lap but I had a big moment coming out of the last chicane and lost all my time. I was only eight-tenths off the leader in the first three splits so it was looking good for the third row. But that mistake cost me and it is a bit unfortunate. The third row would have been a good result. At the start I went out on Colin's set-up with a couple of modifications and it wasn't too bad. Then I went out on the other bike which also had Colin's set-up, but with a few more tweaks to suit me and it wasn't any better. We ran that with the qualifiers but looking back we had a better base setting with the other bike and we could have done a bit more with the softer tyres. I'm hoping warm-up is going to be dry because at the moment we seem to take a long time to get the set-up. We are still looking to improve it again on the day of the race. The bike needs to be sorted for the race after qualifying and we have got to improve in that area. I'm still holding my breath at every corner and that's not the way to be riding. I need to get back into the comfort zone. I got into the 37s at the end on race tyres and other than Casey I think race pace will be high 36s and low 37s. I'm sure I've got mid-37s in me and that is likely to be fighting for the top six. That's the target tomorrow but I just want a good solid result at the moment. I have got to finish and get a good race under my belt and be back in the top ten."