Positive start for Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team in Assen The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team enjoyed an encouraging start to the Dutch GP at the historic Assen circuit, Colin Edwards and James Toseland lapping within half-a-second of the quickest time...
Positive start for Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team in Assen
The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team enjoyed an encouraging start to the Dutch GP at the historic Assen circuit, Colin Edwards and James Toseland lapping within half-a-second of the quickest time in today's practice session.
Using a longer wheelbase setting on his YZR-M1 machine for the first time since pre-season testing, Edwards started his quest for a second successive podium in Holland with the seventh best time.
The Texan, who topped the timesheets for part of the 60-minute session, ended with a fastest time of 1.38.205 to finish just 0.363s away from Randy de Puniet's best pace.
British rider Toseland had arguably his best opening day of the 2009 campaign. The Assen World Superbike race winner instantly benefited from a radically revised set-up on his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1 after lengthy consultations with Fiat Yamaha Team Director Masahiko Nakajima after the last race in Catalunya.
Toseland was immediately able to find a fast pace running a softer rear shock spring and revised footpeg, handlebar and seat positions. Less than 20 minutes had elapsed when the 28-year surged into the top three, with only Valentino Rossi and Dani Pedrosa faster.
He was easily able to maintain a place in the top six until a typically frantic conclusion to the session, though Toseland was just 0.537s away from the best time in ninth.
Colin Edwards 7th 1.38.205 - 27 laps
"It was a reasonable day without being spectacular. I've gone back to a longer wheelbase setting I haven't run since winter testing and it's similar to what Valentino (Rossi) and Jorge (Lorenzo) have been running. There are some advantages and some disadvantages but I've still got a small issue on the front like I had during the last race in Catalunya. I'm not able to turn into the corner as quickly as I'd like, and it feels like I'm waiting on the front before I can go through the corner. But the longer wheelbase has made it probably the best bike I've ever been on for the last part of this track. It's so stable in the fast sections and I'm able to make up a lot of time, so there's some good and some bad with it. We've just got to make some adjustments to make the bike turn a bit better and I feel confident that I can be pushing for another podium here. I love this track and have had some good results and would love to give Monster Yamaha Tech 3 a rostrum for all the h ard work everybody is putting in. That would be a massive confidence boost for me too with Laguna Seca coming up."
James Toseland 9th 1.38.379 - 26 laps
"It was good today and I enjoyed it out there. I know this track very well and that makes a massive difference when you come to a familiar track. All my knowledge of this place means I'm not thinking about where I need to be and I can just concentrate on the bike. I'm not too worried about being in ninth because the times are so close and I'm only half-a-second off first. I'm just pleased that I'm close to the front on the first day rather than being 1.1 or 1.2s off. My bike was a lot different today and we've moved more weight to the back. My bike has been set-up for a lot of grip, but as soon as the race tyre started to wear, I struggled and it's amazing how sensitive these bikes are to weight. We've gone a lot softer on the rear spring to get more load on the rear and I've got the grip and the drive now. I'd like to thank Mr Nakajima from Yamaha. I had a meeting with him on Sunday night in Barcelona and he has been in my garage all through that session giving me some help and I really appreciate his effort. This new setting feels quite a bit different because we've changed footpeg and handlebar position too, and while it doesn't feel as comfortable as my old setting, I'm definitely going round the track quicker and that's the main thing."