MotoGP: Edwards Seventh – Toseland Thirteenth In Spanish Sauna
Toseland unable to recover from bad start ast Catalunya
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Colin Edwards moved into the top six in the MotoGP world championship standings today after finishing seventh in physically demanding Catalunya GP.
Starting the 25-lap race from the second row of the grid, the American lost four places in a typically frenetic opening lap before settling into a consistently fast rhythm as temperatures again soared close to 40 degrees.
Holding eighth until the 13th lap as he again battled to overcome a lack of front-end feel from his Monster Yamaha Tech YZR-M1, Edwards passed Randy de Puniet on lap 14 to claim seventh position.
That put him just over three seconds off a battle for fifth place involving Italian veteran Loris Capirossi and Dani Pedrosa. Edwards produced a determined effort to put pressure on Pedrosa and he was only 1.4s away from the Spaniard and a third top six finish of the season at the chequered flag. Today’s result lifted Edwards into sixth in the overall points and he’s now the leading non-factory rider in the series.
A poor start ruined James Toseland’s hopes of capitalising on his best grid position of the season as he slipped back from ninth to 16th on the first lap in front of 88,502 sun-kissed fans at the Montmelo circuit.
Despite the early setback, the British rider went into full attack mode and became locked in an exciting duel with home favourite Sete Gibernau. Toseland passed Gibernau on lap 16, though by that stage he’d lost contact with a five-rider battle ahead. He eventually recovered to 13th after a pass on Marco Melandri on lap 22.
Colin Edwards 7th – 54 points
“It was a hard race physically because it was so hot out there but I felt I couldn’t ride how I want because of the front-end issue again. But I lost a few places off the line and I’m struggling to get this year’s bike to start. I’m good on the clutch but with the wheelbase shorter on the Yamaha this year I struggle to keep the front-end down as I’m accelerating. I felt good this morning in the warm-up when I was third. It was a bit cooler and I could get the bike to turn, but as soon as it gets hot and slippy I can’t get the bike to turn at all. If I tried to push it would just push the front wide and lose time. I want to push and I could see (Loris) Capirossi and (Dani) Pedrosa in front of me, but the more I push the more mistakes I’d make. As many problems as I’ve had this weekend with the crash yesterday and the lack of feel with the front, I can’t really be upset with seventh. I’m not happy with it, but it was a bit of damage limitation this weekend. My guys at Mon ster Yamaha Tech 3 have worked really hard and we’re going to sort this out and be back fighting closer to the front in Assen, which is a circuit I love.”
James Toseland 13th – 29 points
“I’m really disappointed because I went into the race with high expectations after my best qualifying of the year. But I made a bad mistake off the line and gave myself a mountain to climb. The engine just bogged and I lost a load of time and had no chance of getting it back because everybody is doing similar times ahead of me. I also had a few set-up issues in the race and I’m not happy with that. I didn’t have a lot of rear grip and we’ve got to work on the setting to find some rear grip when the tyre is starting to wear. After about eight or ten laps I was having a few issues with rear grip, but the bad start was what really cost me and that was my fault. It’s frustrating because we’ve been going in the right direction and it had looked like we might have had a decent weekend. But I’ll pick myself up and be ready to give it my all again for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team in Assen.”
Herve Poncharal – Team Manager
“That was an incredible show and an incredible result for Yamaha. I congratulate them because it was unforgettable and anybody who says MotoGP is boring should watch that race. For Monster Yamaha Tech 3 it was a decent result but I think Colin and James will acknowledge they could have been a bit higher up. Colin had a bad start and by the time he recovered, Pedrosa and Capirossi were a bit too far in front of him. He never gave up and he was rewarded by moving back into the top six in the world championship and he’s the best non-factory rider at the moment, so credit to him. It was disappointing for James because all weekend he has been very strong. He is making progress and I know he can bounce back from this and be back challenging for the top ten in Assen.”