Toseland claims brilliant fifth, Edwards on third row for home race Tech 3 Yamaha rider James Toseland produced his best qualifying performance since his MotoGP debut in Qatar today to claim an impressive fifth place on the grid for tomorrow's...
Toseland claims brilliant fifth, Edwards on third row for home race
Tech 3 Yamaha rider James Toseland produced his best qualifying performance since his MotoGP debut in Qatar today to claim an impressive fifth place on the grid for tomorrow's 32-lap American GP.
A best lap 1.21.848 on Michelin's qualifying rubber secured him the second best grid position of his rookie campaign. He missed a second career front row start by just 0.4s after his best lap had moved him into third spot in the final two minutes.
Delighted to put a tough recent spell behind him, the British rider is also confident that he can run a competitive race pace tomorrow and challenge for the top six having evaluated a softer compound rear tyre this afternoon. The softer compound was much more suited to the cooler conditions.
Edwards will start just two places further back in seventh. The Texan encountered problems in finding a set-up to absorb some of Laguna Seca's notoriously bumpy sections. Seventh place ended Edwards' impressive 2008 qualifying record as he finished outside of the top six for the first time this season. He did gain five valuable places on the grid with his last Michelin qualifying tyre, having been uncharacteristically outside of the top ten for most of the session.
James Toseland 5th 1.21.848 - 27 laps
"With the way we have worked today with the set-up, I was confident that once we got on the qualifiers with a bit more grip that I could get up there. I had to pin it and to do a 21 around here is not easy but I got the job done. I'm just so pleased for my team because we have been working really well and so hard that I feel we have deserved it after our bad luck over the last two rounds. We have all kept plugging away and nobody has dropped their heads and now we are on the second row, which is great. When I went out on my last tyre I saw 21.9 was third and I came across the line and saw 21.8 on the dash and I was hoping that would be good enough for the first two rows. You can get two laps on a qualifier here but on my second lap I ran wide at the first corner and I knew I couldn't really get that time back. I was just hoping that was going to keep me on the first two rows and it did. I have got that softer race tyre which I saved for today and kept one back for the race. I can do mid to low 23s on that and that could be a possible top six finish. With some of the issues we have had this weekend I'd be satisfied with that. I just need a decent start to try and get away with the leaders. I'm getting the hang of the starts and I'm not as nervous as before because it is quite a technique to get these bikes off the line. When you're flat-out at 14,000 revs and you want to dump that clutch as fast as you can, you really need to know what you're doing."
Colin Edwards 7th 1.21.947 - 27 laps
"It wasn't great to be honest given how well I've qualified all year, but considering I thought I was going to be on the plane home last night, I can't complain too much. My neck was really bad yesterday but today it was unbelievable. I had some injections and also a couple of sessions of massage at the Clinica Mobile and I feel great. But it has been a tough weekend so far and I'm expecting a tough race tomorrow. I don't remember the track being this bumpy but on the qualifiers when you need to go so much faster, I could barely see where I was going. My head was bouncing around all over the place on the bumps. We have been working hard to change the bike to try and find some more grip but everything just feels really rigid. I'm just hanging on in some places and in the last two sections I'm terrible. It is not through a lack of trying because my guys have been working incredibly hard as usual. But we've taken weight off the front, put more weight on the front and put weight on the rear, but nothing has really improved the situation. Hopefully I can get a good start to try get away with the leading bunch, because I really want to get a good result for my home fans. I will be giving it everything I've got that's for sure."