Colin Edwards and Cal Crutchlow faced another battle on their hands as they looked to bury the demons of Assen at Mugello. The Monster Yamaha Tech3 riders started well from 6th and 7th respectively, and were embroiled in a 5 rider battle for 6th place.
The pace began to take it’s toll on Edwards around the midway point, as his grip levels began to fade away, with the Bridgestone tyres reacting badly with the combination of the Tech3 machine and the 50 degree track temperature. Edwards held on to finish the race in 9th place, and wasn’t too happy with the outcome.
“That was a pretty tough race.” said Colin, “Basically we made the wrong rear tyre choice but it was so hard to decide which one was going to the better option. I’d been fast on both options but I felt like there was an advantage with the softer compound. It seemed easier to do the lap times that I needed to do to get away with the guys at the start. But I changed my mind a few times because we’d not had the afternoon sessions on Friday or Saturday because of the rain, so we didn’t know how the tyre would react in the really hot conditions. With the track temperature much higher I just never had the grip I expected at the beginning. It never changed from the first lap to the last. There was no drop in performance, but it never really had the grip I wanted at the beginning.”
He continued, “At the end of the day we made a bad call and sometimes it doesn’t work out. To come out of a difficult race with a top ten is still a half decent result, so we move on now and hope for a better race in Germany.”
Cal Crutchlows race was even more forgettable. For the first time in his career, the British rookie pulled into the garage after Lap 6 due to extreme tyre wear. That is now two DNF’s in a row for Crutchlow, who has had a brilliant start to the season so far.
“Right from the first lap I didn’t have any confidence or feeling with the front-end and I kept running wide. I just didn’t want to crash with the Silverstone shoulder injury at the back of my mind, so I felt the safest option was to pull into the pits.”said Cal.
“I was in that battle fighting for sixth place and the last thing I want to do is not fight, but I felt like I’d reached my limit. I am sorry for the Team because we have all worked incredibly hard and now I am determined to put this race behind me and focus on having a strong weekend at the next race in Germany, which I’m looking forward to.” He continued.