Colin Edwards and Cal Crutchlow continued their impressive form for Monster Yamaha Tech3 this weekend in Portugal, after claiming strong 6th and 8th place finishes respectively. For Edwards, his season best finish was a hard fought one. From the off, he was able to keep pace with Repsol Honda’s Andrea Dovizioso and Ducati’s Valentino Rossi in their fight for 4th, until a side grip issue began to hamper him. Despite his best efforts, he was unable to claw back the gap that was just 1.5s at one stage.
Speaking after the race, Edwards said, “I don’t know what happened at the start but there was stuff going on everywhere. I saw Casey have a big moment and then Simoncelli needed a parachute, so it was just survival for the first few corners and see what happened. I saw Valentino and Andrea right in front of me and I was ready to reel them in. I was getting closer but I was pushing so hard just to stay in touch I lost a bit of side grip in the middle of the race and the lap times dropped a bit.”
He continued, ” I couldn’t have tried any harder to catch them and felt I had the pace in some areas, but when I opened the throttle the traction control would kick in because I was having quite a bit of wheelspin. But to be in the top six in this field is still a great achievement for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team and me. I can’t really ask for anything more because I know the package I’m on and I know how fast the factory bikes are and the guys sat on top of them. A top six to take into the next race in France gives us all a lot of confidence because that is a big race for Tech 3 and Monster and I’m already looking forward to going there.”
Crutchlow continues his rapid progression into the MotoGP paddock, with a chance to claim a seasons best 7th place finish in store. A battle with Aoyama, Hayden and Spies. Only Aoyama however could match Cal’s pace and eventually pipped him to the 7th place spot. Crutchlow’s 8th is a fantastic result for the Brit, as he has never raced around Estoril before and is still recovering from surgery on his arm.
“I’m happy enough with that because before the start of the weekend I’d have never thought it possible to finish in the top eight on a circuit I’d never even seen before.” said Cal “And considering I had problems with both my arms all weekend, it is a great feeling. My right arm, which I had the operation is fine, but my left arm is really sore because I’ve been compensating with it. But the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team have been awesome all weekend. They have experience of helping rookie riders and they are doing a great job for me. And they’ve adjusted the bike to help me feel more comfortable with the arm problems.”
He continued “It is a shame I couldn’t quite beat Aoyama at the end. Earlier in the race I felt really comfortable and kept some really fast and experienced guys behind me. It was a really good battle with Aoyama and while I don’t like to get beaten in a last lap fight, I gave him a good run for his money and it is great experience for me to be in a scrap like that. If I keep doing what I’m doing at the moment then there is no reason why on tracks that I know that I can’t be even further up. I’m really looking forward to Le Mans now. It is a massive race for the Team being in France and also for Monster, so I’ll be looking to get another top ten finish.”