Colin Edwards celebrated his best qualifying result in 51 races on Saturday after going fourth quickest this afternoon in Sepang. The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider has been in the pace all weekend and will only have the three Repsol Hondas ahead of him on tomorrow's grid.
The American felt he got absolutely everything out of the YZR-M1 and has promised to do so again tomorrow to mark his penultimate race in Tech 3 colours.
“I’m ecstatic with that result because to get a fourth place in any session against this level of competition is a pretty big achievement. I said yesterday that we rolled the bike out of the crate hot and today I felt even more confident. Usually I have a really good couple of tests in February and then come back for the race and I have an awful time. But with this year’s chassis I’m really enjoying this track. We’ve barely moved away from the setting we left the second test with in February and the bike feels awesome. I’m pushing hard but I don’t feel like I’m right on the limit like I have in some races and it relatively easy. I can ride smooth and the bike is turning really well. We’d like more traction, but in this heat and humidity the grip is always going to be the thing that’s missing. I’m not far off the front row but I didn’t leave anything out there. The lap I did my best time on, I took a couple of risks, so I couldn’t have done any better.”
“Fourth is my best qualifying result since Valencia in 2008. That seems like a long, long time ago, so it would be great to follow today up with a top five result tomorrow and send my awesome Monster Yamaha Tech 3 crew home happy.”
Teammate Cal Crutchlow also impressed in qualifying to secure tenth place on the grid and the Briton hopes he and Edwards can uphold Yamaha honours on a tough weekend for the factory team.
“I’m much happier today and I want to say a big thanks to my Monster Yamaha Tech 3 crew because they’ve worked really hard to improve my feeling on the bike. We definitely made some progress today and the bike was turning better and the rear grip was improved as well. It is going to be a long and tough race in the heat but also the track isn’t in fantastic condition, so we’ll be sliding around a lot at the end. The surface feels really greasy and it will be a case of who can keep the best grip for the longest but I’m confident we’ve got a good set-up.”
“We’ll try a couple of small changes to try and improve the bike in the warm-up and if we can gain a bit extra then I’m sure I can be fighting for the top 10 tomorrow. Colin did an amazing job today to take fourth. He’s doing Yamaha proud without Jorge being here and Ben obviously riding in a lot of pain, so if anything he’s getting faster as he gets older!”