The Monster Yamaha duo of Colin Edwards and series rookie Cal Crutchlow got their seasons underway at the first race of the season in Qatar, and the riders can be pleased with their results.
Colin Edwards made a great start and looked set to climb the field, but running wide cost him places and he dropped to 10th. After getting past teammate Crutchlow, Edwards latched on to ex-teammate, Yamaha’s Ben Spies he was able to lap at a leading pace and was able to eventually claim 8th place.
Speaking after the race, Edwards said, “That was the best I could do and I’m happy with the way I rode and my guys gave me a good bike as always. A top eight is pretty good considering the speed of the guys in front of me and I was pretty much where I thought I’d end up based on practice.”
Talking through his race, he continued “I got a good start and thought the only way I’ve got any chance of getting a top six is to take a few early risks. I went round the outside at the first corner and made up a couple of places. But I had a couple of moments, one when I nearly ran into Ben, which wouldn’t have been a good move. I thought I might have had something for Valentino early on but even when he’s not 100 per cent he can still ride pretty good. I’m never happy with eighth but we got some decent points and we can move on to Jerez wi th confidence.”
Cal Crutchlow had an impresive debut, starting in front of Ducati’s Valentino Rossi. He was able to cling on to the group of 4 riders fighting for 9th for most of the race. As with Edwards, Cal ran wide whilst trying to overtake the Mapfre Aspar of Hector Barbera and ran wide. He didn’t give up however and was rewarded by catching and passing Barbera on the last lap to claim 11th.
“I’m pretty happy with that and honestly I’d have liked to have got a top ten after how well qualifying went.” said Crutchlow
“I couldn’t keep up with the group that included Nicky and Aoyama because it was tough to pass Barbera. They passed Barbera and I then overtook him to chase them, but he got me back immediately and let them get away because his pace dropped off quite a bit. But he’s got a fast bike and that makes it hard to make a pass and stay in front of him. I was happy to be in the fight for the top ten for as long as I was and the experience gained is invaluable to help me progress in MotoGP. I wanted to finish and get a race under my belt, so it was mission accomplished. The next couple of races will be tough because I don’t know the circuits but I’ll be doing my best for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 squad.”