Colin Edwards was relieved simply to stay on the circuit as a late rain shower wreaked havoc in the Australian Grand Prix. The American saw numerous riders crash out in the slippery conditions but used all of his experience to bring the Tech 3 Yamaha home in fifth.
Nicky Hayden and Loris Capirossi were among the riders that pitted as flag-to-flag rules came into play but Edwards admitted he was always going to stay out, a decision which paid dividends.
“That was all about surviving because the conditions might have looked great on TV with the sun shining but the wind was horrendous. We know the wind plays a big part here normally but today it seemed particularly bad and it was impossible to judge when a gust was going to hit you from one lap to the next. I got into a pretty good rhythm and I was happy to be running a consistent pace in eighth when all the late chaos happened. It is never a good feeling when you see rain spots on the visor with slick tyres on but there was only rain in a small part of the track. I knew it was a flag-to-flag situation but I never thought about pulling in for the rain bike. I was just riding as hard as I could but as safe as I could in the last couple of laps and fifth is a great result.”
Teammate Cal Crutchlow was among the riders that slid off the track late on, going down at the same corner as Hiroshi Aoyama just in front of him. The Briton explained that he had no indication there was a lack of grip until his Yamaha YZR-M1 lost control.
“I’m pretty disappointed because it has been a very difficult weekend, so to get a top 10 would have been a very positive way to sign off. I’d been having a really good battle with Abraham, Aoyama and de Puniet and I was confident I was going to finish at least eighth. But I came into Lukey Heights and couldn’t even see any rain and the next thing I was down. The weird thing is Aoyama went down right in front of me on the same wet patch, so it was like synchronised crashing. I had no idea why I’d crashed and someone in the crowd told me it had rained really quickly and then stopped. It is a pity because that cost me a decent result but I’ll be looking to get back in the fight for the top 10 in Sepang next week. I tested twice at that track in the winter and while it was tough, I’ve gained so much experience since then that there’s no reason why I can’t have a strong weekend.”
Team Manager Herve Poncharal sympathised with Crutchlow while also praising Edwards as the American showed why he can be relied upon in changeable conditions.
“I am very happy for Colin because he did a great job in very demanding conditions. Like in Jerez and Silverstone when we had difficult conditions, Colin is always there. The fifth position was well deserved and this result is a great boost for his chances of finishing the top non-factory rider in the World Championship standings. I am a little bit disappointed on the other side of the garage because Cal knew this track and I thought he would have been a lot stronger here. But he found it very difficult to find a fast pace all weekend. I have to give him credit though because he never gave up and it was a dramatic race. His engine stopped on the grid but that didn’t distract him and he had a very good fight with some experienced riders. I think sixth position would have been a possibility but he was caught out by the conditions and that was an easy thing to do. Other people made a mistake but we hope Cal can return stronger in Sepang, which is another track he has ridden on.”