Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider Colin Edwards produced a gritty qualifying performance this afternoon to equal his best grid position of the season at a hot and sunny Brno.
Despite being less than 100 per cent fit after he needed treatment for a swollen neck gland, the Texan secured his eighth top six grid position of the season in preparation for round 11 of the 2009 MotoGP world championship tomorrow. Edwards clocked a best time of 1.56.964 on his last lap, the 35-year-old finishing less than 0.5s from claiming his first front row start of the season. Working closely with his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 crew, front-end changes to improve turning on his YZR-M1 machine have bolstered Edwards’ hopes of claiming a maiden top six finish in the Czech Republic MotoGP.
British rider James Toseland is confident he can challenge for a top ten position in tomorrow’s 22-lap race. He will start from the fifth row of the grid having missed out on a top ten grid position by less than 0.4s. Toseland clocked a best time of 1.58.331 and the 28-year-old will focus on improving rear grip on his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine as he looks for a fourth top ten finish in five races.
Colin Edwards Speaks… (5th 1.56.954 – 23 laps)
"I’m pretty happy considering how I felt today. The last couple of days, one of the glands in my neck was pretty badly swollen up, so I was given some medicine to help it. But the doctor told me to make sure I had a full stomach when I took it. But this morning I only had a bowl of cereal and then I took the medicine. And after that I felt awful. After practice this morning I was white as a sheet and not feeling great at all. My stomach and head were feeling pretty rough and I just felt way short of my best for the rest of the day. So considering that I’m happy to have qualified fifth. I’d say Dani Pedrosa’s time was reachable in third but it would have taken a great lap to do that, and I’m not sure I had it in me physically today. I’ve been going great all weekend and my team have done a phenomenal job. We put some more weight on the front that has really helped get the bike to turn and that’s crucial at this track. I’ve never had a top six at this track but hopefully I’ll change that tomorrow and hopefully I’ll be feeling better."
James Toseland Speaks… (14th 1.58.331- 22 laps)
"Obviously I’m not happy to be down in 14th and being that far back is going to make it a tough race. I’m frustrated because we changed the bike for the last soft tyre and I didn’t have the rear grip I needed to push for a better time. I had a lot of wheelspin with the final soft tyre so I couldn’t really push and I’ve given myself a hard job for the race. We’ll try and make the bike more balanced for the race tomorrow because at the moment I don’t have enough rear grip. I’ve qualified outside of the top ten a couple of times before this season and been able to fight my back into the top ten during the race. So I’m hoping to be able to do the same tomorrow."