TT Assen: Tech 3 Yamaha race report

Edwards third after late Assen drama Tech 3 Yamaha rider Colin Edwards was involved in more late drama at Assen today as a stunning surge from the back of the field was rewarded with third place. For the second time in three years, Edwards was...

Edwards third after late Assen drama

Tech 3 Yamaha rider Colin Edwards was involved in more late drama at Assen today as a stunning surge from the back of the field was rewarded with third place.

For the second time in three years, Edwards was involved in dramatic incident at the final chicane with Nicky Hayden as he snatched third from his fellow American just metres from the finish line.

Fourth at the start of the last lap, Edwards produced a brilliant display of overtaking to come from dead last on the opening lap as he narrowly avoiding an early tangle between Valentino Rossi and Randy de Puniet.

Producing lap times close the formidable pace set by eventual winner Casey Stoner, Edwards fought his way back into seventh when he passed Jorge Lorenzo on lap 10. He then quickly closed on an exciting battle for fourth that included Chris Vermeulen, Andrea Dovizioso and Shinya Nakano.

Reeling off a succession of personal best laps, Edwards passed Nakano at the start of lap 13 and a lap later claimed fourth with brilliant moves on Vermeulen and Dovizioso. Trailing Hayden by over seven seconds on lap 15, Edwards halved the deficit by the last lap, but having settled for fourth, he grabbed third with Hayden encountering machine problems exiting the final corner. Today's result was Edwards' second podium of 2008 and moved him to within 16-points of Lorenzo in fourth place in the championship standings.

James Toseland made a welcome return to the top ten today despite encountering some small front-end set-up issues during the 26-lap encounter. His points though helped the Tech 3 Yamaha team consolidate fourth in the Team World Championship standings.

Colin Edwards - Position: 3rd - 98 points

"Third is never a win, but this feels as good as one. I remember how disappointed I was with third in Le Mans and I feel much better with this after what happened. I thought I had a good start and was fifth or sixth when Valentino got tangled with Randy de Puniet and he crashed. I might have gone left but I knew Valentino was on the ground and I didn't want to run over him or his bike and I just stopped. The next thing I know is I'm dead last and then Alex de Angelis went down soon after and I lost a bit more ground. I just decided to get my head and push. I thought I'd rather be in the gravel than riding round for eighth or ninth. I started picking guys off and before I knew it I was on the back of the group fighting for fourth. I just kept pushing myself to go faster and the next thing I'm fourth. I could see Nicky and Dani in the distance and all I did was ride as hard as I could and my Tech 3 guys gave me a great bike today. Michelin had some great tyres so I started to hammer away at Nicky. I thought if I kept applying pressure he might make a mistake and if I hadn't kept pushing as hard as I did then I might not have been close enough to pounce on Nicky. I'd settled for third but as I came out of the chicane he was sat up, and I couldn't believe it. I guess that's karma corner after 2006. This place owed me something after I crashed a couple of years ago with my first win in sight, and I'm really happy with third just because in the way I achieved it. It's hard to get on the podium at any time in MotoGP, so to do it from last is a great feeling."

James Toseland - Position: 9th - 60 points

"We tried a completely different setting on the front and we had quite a few problems because riding was just not that comfortable for me. It is nice to get a finish under my belt and get a top ten to build on from here because there is no doubt we have got some work to do and we need to find a direction with the bike. The shorter bike seems to be a lot more sensitive to changes but the mixed weather is really killing us at the moment as we try and make some big progress. With all the wet time we are not moving forward in the dry. In the last six races there's been a wet day and to only have one day to get the bike dialled in is difficult, even on tracks that I know. It is frustrating to watch and frustrating for me to be down in ninth position and I know I have got work to do. We are quite a way off with the setting and it is up to me to make it better. I'm not riding any worse than I was before but we have hit a bit of a brick wall. Sachsenring is another new track and I'll have a think about where we are at over the next few days, watch some videos of the races so far and try and work out where we can improve."

Herve Poncharal - Team Manager

"Colin was incredible today. I was really upset after what happened on the first lap because he has always been very fast this weekend and we were convinced with the pace he had shown that he could have challenged for the podium. This is racing but Colin was last and we thought it was over. When we saw his pace we had even more regret, so we were just thinking about what might have been. But he made an incredible recovery and we can't believe this podium. When I saw him come out of the chicane and pass Nicky it was an incredible emotion. His lap times were very impressive and close to Casey's, which was not easy to achieve this weekend, so I think he deserved this. Nobody wants to see what happened to Nicky but today it was Colin's turn to have the luck after what happened in 2006. I am really happy for the team and I'm also pleased for James because he has been riding at a competitive pace and he was fast in all conditions. After the disappointment of Donington it was important for him to get a solid result and both have helped us stay close to Ducati in the team championship."


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Series MotoGP
Drivers Nicky Hayden , Valentino Rossi , Colin Edwards , Shinya Nakano , James Toseland , Randy de Puniet , Chris Vermeulen , Andrea Dovizioso , Jorge Lorenzo , Alex de Angelis , Casey Stoner , Herve Poncharal