Colin Edwards remains firmly in the hunt for a top five world championship finish in 2009 after a tough Malaysian MotoGP race this afternoon.
Optimistic of a top six challenge in the dry, two days of hard work and preparation in hot and humid conditions counted for nothing after a torrential downpour saturated the 5.548km circuit just 30 minutes before the scheduled start of the 21-lap race.
The deluge forced Race Direction to delay the start for 40 minutes but once underway, Edwards was mounting a determined challenge for a top ten in front of 59,206 fans when he encountered small front-end issues with the wet setting on his Monster Yamaha YZR-M1.
He climbed as high as 12th place on lap 13 but was unable to maintain his pace in much cooler conditions than normal for the Malaysian GP, the intervention of the rain dropping temperatures to 27 degrees.
Edwards ended the penultimate race of the campaign in 13th position, the American closing the gap on Andrea Dovizioso in fifth in the overall standings to just four points heading to the season’s final race in Valencia on November 8.
British rider James Toseland ended a difficult weekend with 15th position to extend his impressive points-scoring run to seven successive races. The 28-year-old also ran into front-end grip problems but fought hard in tricky conditions to claim a single point, Toseland confident he can finish the season in style at Valencia next month.
Colin Edwards 13th – 148 points
“The weekend wasn’t great to be honest. The bike wasn’t fast in the dry for some reason and I just couldn’t get going all weekend. We tried a different setting this morning and it felt better, but it certainly wasn’t a miracle spark. But with the rain coming like it did it just made it a guessing game. I did two warm-up laps behind Valentino (Rossi) p to check the conditions and from that moment the front feeling wasn’t great. Even then I was worried I wouldn’t be able to get any weight on the front and that’s exactly what happened. I could carry the lean angle I wanted but the front wouldn’t load at all, so I couldn’t get the bike turned. When it was properly wet I felt like I was upping my pace and closing in on the group for tenth, but then the tyres started heating up and I was sideways all of the time. In the final laps I was losing a lot of time. I’m going to Valencia still fighting for fifth in the championship with (Andrea) Dovizioso) crashing, but I don’t like taking profit from the mistakes of other people. I just want to say congratulations to Yamaha and Valentino. He’s done another amazing job and nine world titles is just a phenomenal achievement.”
James Toseland 14th – 88-points
“I wasn’t too sorry when I saw the rain to be honest because it had been a tough weekend in the dry. We went with the base wet setting but I had the same problem in the rain that I did in the dry. I just didn’t have any grip on the rear and in the wet the problem was on corner entry to the apex. So my corner speed was just way too slow to make a decent lap time. I am not out there just riding around at the back. I was doing my absolute best and trying my hardest but it was impossible for me to go any faster with the feeling I had. It has been a tough weekend but I’ll look to bounce back and finish strongly in Valencia for my guys at Monster Yamaha Tech 3.”
Herve Poncharal – Team Manager
“It has been a very disappointing weekend and easily the worst for us this season. We were struggling in the dry so I can’t say I was unhappy to see the rain because I thought this would give us a chance of improving our results. Unfortunately our performance was even worse in the rain and we can’t be happy. Now we have to understand why we struggled so much this weekend. The only good thing is that we go to Valencia with Colin still fighting for fifth in the championship and the whole team is motivated to finish the season on a positive note. Finally I’d like to pass on my congratulations to Valentino and Yamaha. They have done another incredible job this season. Valentino has proven once again what a formidable rider he is, and Yamaha has undoubtedly the most dominant bike in MotoGP.”
Popularity: 1% [?]