Colin Edwards and Cal Crutchlow continued to make improvements to their Monster Yamaha Tech3 machines during the final practice session for the season opener in Qatar, with the experience of Colin Edwards beating the injured rookie Crutchlow. Edwards placed in a competitive 7th place after making changes to his rear suspension setup to aid grip with the rear tyre.
“Tonight ended up working out really well because the first session wasn’t that easy” said Edwards “I had quite a bit of trouble getting the hard tyre to work in the first session and that’s what we need to race with. The soft tyre just won’t go the race distance, so we had to figure out a solution to make the bike work on the hard tyre. Luckily, my guys at Monster Yamaha Tech 3 and Ohlins came up with the answers.”
He continued “Earlier on I had too much wheelspin and couldn’t finish the corner, but we made some changes to the rear suspension and it was a million times better. Immediately I went out and did a 56.3, which was half-a-second quicker than I’ve been on the har d tyre all week. I then did a 56.3 after about eight laps, so we got the hard tyre working now. I knew we had to find half-a-second and we did, so hats off to the Team. I’m now a lot more confident for the rest of the weekend and feel we’ve got a really competitive package.”
Cal Crutchlow continued to find the best way to ride with his nasty finger injury and with pain in his shoulder due to surgery in the early off season. Speaking after the session, the Brit was upbeat. To be as close as I was to the top six, I can’t really ask for too much more. I wasn’t following anybody either and I was doing the times on my own, so that gives me a lot of confidence too.”
He continued “I’m much happier on the harder tyre now. I was consistently in the 56s and that’s a big step forward on last night and I don’t really think the final position does us justice. Considering how sore my finger is and my shoulder is starting to hurt a bit now as well, I can’t complain. I actually think I could have gone quicker but when I put in a soft rear tyre at the end , the front tyre had got a few laps on it and it was moving around when I was pushing. But I feel a lot more comfortable on the bike and we’ve got a few ideas for tomorrow night, so I can improve a bit more.”