Double Dutch delight for Monster Tech 3 Yamaha Team Colin Edwards and James Toseland raced to superb top six finishes at the historic Assen circuit today, the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team duo claiming fourth and sixth respectively. American...
Double Dutch delight for Monster Tech 3 Yamaha Team
Colin Edwards and James Toseland raced to superb top six finishes at the historic Assen circuit today, the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team duo claiming fourth and sixth respectively. American Edwards equalled his best result of 2009 with a brilliant fourth position that moved the 35-year-old to within two-points of fourth place in the overall standings.
And British rider Toseland roared back to form with an outstanding performance in one of the most intense battles witnessed in the 800cc MotoGP era to claim a thoroughly deserved top six finish.
Edwards made a good start from fifth on the grid and passed Chris Vermeulen on lap five to claim fifth and was exerting intense pressure on Andrea Dovizioso when the Italian crashed on lap 11. That left Edwards to claim fourth and maintain his 100 per cent points-scoring record in 2009.
Behind Edwards, Toseland was embroiled in an incredible seven-rider battle for most of the race that captivated a crowd of 96,152 fans.
Adapting brilliantly to a new set-up inspired by Fiat Yamaha Team Director Masahiko Nakajima, Toseland moved into sixth place on lap 11 and produced a masterclass of riding under pressure to hold off the likes of Mika Kallio, Loris Capirossi and Nicky Hayden.
As the incredible battle unfolded to a gripping finale, Toseland slipped back to ninth on the last lap before he took advantage of a series of mistakes to claim his first top six finish of the season.
The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team now moves to the American round in Laguna Seca next weekend -- home race for Edwards and title sponsor Monster -- brimming with confidence.
Colin Edwards 4th -- 67 points
"Finally I got a decent start and the longer wheelbase bike helped me get off the line. When Dovizioso came by I was biting my teeth to stay with him and keep the pressure on. But then I saw Dovizioso crash in front of me and just before that I'd had a moment with the right side of the front. I'd done 32-laps on that tyre yesterday but coming in and out of the pits all of the time it's hard to get an accurate assessment of what's going to happen. I just held station after that because I could see I wasn't catching (Casey) Stoner and I was holding Vermeulen off comfortably. My target was just to ride without making any mistakes and keep the momentum going. I rode my hardest but this year in MotoGP it is so hard just to get a podium. The field is so strong now and it's the hardest year I've ever had in MotoGP. I've ridden nowhere near as hard as that in the past and been on the podium. But I'm close to fourth in the championship and I was only beaten by the three fastest guys in the world today, so I'm happy with the job I'm doing. I can't wait for Laguna now and hopefully I'll be able to go better and get a podium for Monster, Tech 3 and all the American fans."
James Toseland 6th -- 39 points
"I was a bit nervous on the start because I'd no experience with a new clutch set-up we were running. The crash in the warm-up meant I didn't try it before the race, but I did a pretty good start but still lost three or four places. I knew I'd got a pretty good race set-up so just tried to stay calm and in the first couple of laps I took advantage of that to get into the top ten. It was an incredible battle for most of the race and I knew I wasn't much stronger than the rest and I knew if I got to the front that it wasn't going to be a case of me pulling away. I knew once I was at the front of the bunch that it would be a case of protecting it. That's exactly what I did but it was nearly all spoiled on the last lap. I was getting ready to pass Mika at the last corner when Elias came under me at Turn 10. That let Loris through too and I'd gone from sixth to ninth! It was so chaotic I didn't even see Kallio crash and I thought when Elias dived under Loris at the last chicane that they might run off. Fortunately for me they did and I took advantage of it, and leading that group for so long I think I deserved sixth. It has been great to work with Mr Nakajima and I feel quite privileged to have his help and it just shows that I'm still on Yamaha's thoughts and they want me to get up to speed."
Herve Poncharal -- Team Manager
"That was easily the best race of the season for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team and I'm delighted because everybody has put in a lot of hard work. Colin was very impressive again and again he is the best non-factory rider, which considering how tough the competition is now, that is a great achievement. I have to say massive congratulations to James. He's not had an easy time but he was able to lead an incredible fight in a group that included some of the very best riders in this championship. It was not easy to lead that group like he did but he did an unbelievable job and he definitely deserved that top six. He is a fighter and he proved that today and it was great that we played a big part in Yamaha's success today, with all four bikes in the top six. I'd also like to say a big thanks to Mr Nakajima from Yamaha. He made an extra special effort and given big support to James this weekend. Now we go to Colin's home race and a huge race for Monster in very confident mood."
-credit: tech 3