Saturday, July 23, 2011

Solid start for Edwards and Crutchlow

Colin Edwards Laguna Seca 2011

The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 pair got their respective Laguna Seca weekends off to a start on Friday.

Colin Edwards kicked off preparations for his home race at Laguna Seca today in encouraging fashion, the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider finishing the opening day of practice for the US Grand Prix in ninth position.

In cool and overcast conditions this morning, Edwards commenced the second half of the 2011 MotoGP World Championship by setting the eighth quickest time, the popular Texan finishing just over 0.2s away from the top six.

This afternoon's session took place under clear blue skies and hotter conditions, with temperatures hitting a pleasant 22 degrees after a chilly 18 degrees this morning. Track temperature increased too by 15 degrees this afternoon and cheered on by a passionate home crowd, Edwards knocked almost 0.3s off his personal best from this morning to clock a lap of 1’23.183. That put him ninth on the combined timesheets but in a close fought session, he was just over a second away from the fastest pace.

Today's two 45-minute sessions saw Cal Crutchlow tackle another steep learning curve, the British rider quickly getting to grips with another new track in his impressive rookie campaign.

Crutchlow set a best of 1’24.018 this morning, the 25 year-old confidently building up his speed on the Laguna Seca track, which includes the world famous Corkscrew section, one of the most technically demanding corners on the calendar.

Working on a revised weight distribution setting to improve his confidence with the front-end of his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1 machine, Crutchlow lowered his time to a 1’23.70 7 in the second session.

Colin Edwards, 9th, 1’23.183:
“Today was a decent start and I'm happy with the way things went. In terms of the position it is not my best start to a weekend at Laguna Seca, but I'm actually happier with the feeling of the bike than I have been for a long time at this track. The bike felt really good from the start, though we can make some improvements to the rear tomorrow just to make it feel a bit smoother and a bit less nervous. I'm confident for the rest of the weekend because I'm pretty close to the top six and we know we can go faster. I want to say a big thanks also to Bridgestone. They a greed to bring some softer tyres for this weekend and it was definitely the right choice. When it was cool this morning we really needed the softer tyres, so everybody could just get a feel for the track and get comfortable without taking too many risks. We ran the harder tyre this afternoon and that will definitely be the race tyre, and we got some good information with that too, so I'm optimistic that I can put on a good show for the American fans, who have been amazing already this weekend.”

Cal Crutchlow, 13th, 1’23.707:
“It wasn't a bad day at all although obviously I want to be much higher up than 13th. At the moment it is quite difficult to do the lap time. I know going fast never comes easy but it feels like I'm quite close to the limit and I'm still over 1.6s behind. I'm the best of the rookies and that's a good start but it seems we've taken a step sideways and everybody else has taken a step forward. The bike feels better than Germany last weekend but we can still make it better. We're not far away and we've got some ideas to work on tonight but it also a lack of track knowledge that doesn't help. Trying to learn the track and go fast at the same time is not easy, but I'm making progress. The track itself is really good fun. The Corkscrew is pretty amazing although I've run off there twice. The key part is the approach and it is weird running up to it, because you can't even see it as you climb the hill. But it is a pretty amazing corner and it feels like you're dropping off the end of the earth.”

Monster Yamaha Tech 3 press release

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