Colin Edwards made an excellent start to his second home grand prix of the season, finishing Friday practice in sixth place. The Texan outpaced the factory Honda of Marco Simoncelli and got to within a quarter of a second of world champion Jorge Lorenzo, giving the Tech 3 squad a welcome confidence boost.
Conditions were far from ideal in the morning, with Edwards describing it as a “dirt track”, but as the circuit rubbered in, he felt much happier with the YZR-M1.
“This morning it felt like I was back at the Texas Tornado Boot Camp but just riding a more expensive bike because it was pretty slippery out there. To be honest I actually really enjoyed it even though the grip was a bit sketchy. We all knew that grip was going to be a little bit of an issue this morning but it was 100 per cent dirt track. As soon as you got your knee on the ground the front would go and the rear would come round, but I still had a lot of fun with the bike moving around so much.”
“This afternoon with a lot more rubber down it was a lot better and hats off to the folks at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. They’ve done an amazing job because the bumps that have been really bad have mostly gone and with a bit more rubber down the surface is going to offer a lot more grip. We won’t feel the benefit of the new tarmac this year but the changes are for the future and next year it is going to be a million times better. Being third this morning and sixth this afternoon has given me a lot of confidence for the rest of the weekend. I’m not fighting the bike this weekend and it feels awesome.”
On his first visit to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Cal Crutchlow set the 15th fastest time but was gradually feeling happier with the bike, giving him optimism for qualifying.
“This morning was pretty difficult because the track was very slippery and I was having to contend with not a lot of grip while also trying to push to l earn the track. Sometimes I’d run off line and it was so dirty that I was losing a lot of time. The track was in much better condition this afternoon but it felt like I didn’t have the front grip I needed to push for a faster time. We had a lot of wear on the tyre and not much grip and I’m not sure why. The issue this year has been losing the front on the brakes, but today I was losing the front mid-corner and off the throttle.”
“I’m sure we can make some big steps with the set-up and I’m confident I can climb a few places up the order and fight for a top 10 in qualifying tomorrow. The good thing is that every single lap we make improvements and I go faster, so if we can get more front-end feeling then I’m looking forward to having a strong race.”