Colin Edwards and James Toseland are confident they can produce strong performances in the Malaysian MotoGP race after a tough qualifying session in baking hot conditions at the Sepang circuit this afternoon.
American Edwards will start the penultimate race of the season from ninth on the grid, the 35-year-old clocking a best lap of the long and technical 5.548km circuit in 2.02.195 to miss out on a seventh consecutive second row start by less than 0.3s.
Working hard with his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 crew to improve the corner entry performance with his YZR-M1 machine, Edwards remains optimistic that he can fight for a top five result in tomorrow’s 21-lap race.
Toseland experienced another difficult day, the British rider working tirelessly to try and improve edge grip on his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1 machine as track temperatures hit 51 degrees – five degrees hotter than yesterday’s practice.
Despite his best efforts, the 28-year-old couldn’t find a comfortable setting in the extreme heat and humidity, and he finished in 16th place with a quickest time of 2.03.528 set on his final lap of the session.
Colin Edwards 9th 2.02.195 – 23 laps
“With the feeling I had with the bike, that was about as fast as I could go today. Being honest though I struggled a little bit today and I’m obviously doing something consistently wrong. I’m losing the same amount of time in the same sections over and over again, but when we change the bike we improve in one area and sacrifice feel in another. I can’t get the bike turned in at all and I’ve always thought I’ve been good at that. But at this track I’m struggling with it, particularly in the third section where I’m losing a bit of time. Those guys in front of me are not lapping much faster than me and the start is going to be crucial. I’ve just got to get by as many of them as I can early on and try and make a break like I did in Phillip Island. At least I’m in front of (Andrea) Dovizioso on the grid, so hopefully I can take some more points out of him tomorrow and have a really good crack at fifth in the championship in Valencia.”
James Toseland 16th 2.03.528 – 22 laps
“It has been a really tough weekend and qualifying down in 16th is well below my expectations. This has always been a tough track for me and I wasn’t expecting an easy weekend, but I wasn’t expecting it to be as tough as this. I’m struggling to get grip on the edge of the rear tyre to give me the confidence to push harder. We’ve tried a lot of different options to try and improve the setting but it doesn’t seem to matter what we change, I don’t have enough grip on the rear. It is a problem mid-corner and also when I first open the throttle. Tomorrow is going to be tough with the heat, but we might just have to gamble with a setting for the race and see what happens. Being so far back on the grid means it will be difficult, but I never give up and I’ll be giving it my all for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team again tomorrow.”
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