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Edwards and Rossi glad to be back

Edwards and Rossi glad to be back

Edwards and Rossi glad to be back

Colin Edwards made his official Yamaha debut on Sunday in the first of a three-day test alongside new team-mate Valentino Rossi at Sepang. Despite having ridden the M1 twice before the winter testing ban, Edwards didn't officially become a Yamaha rider until 1st January and he was glad to meet up again with his new team in Malaysia.

"I'm pretty happy after this first day and it's awesome to be back," said the American. "We spent all day changing settings and just working on various small things to try to improve the set-up. The Japanese need quite a lot of information to build their database, so we spent some time doing things for them, too.

"We didn't test any tyres, as we wanted to just concentrate on set-up, but tomorrow we might spend some more time with different Michelin tyres. We've got a new engine, a new chassis and there's a lot to work on; some areas have improved for me and some haven't, but we just need to find the balance and we'll be okay."

On the pressure surrounding his arrival to MotoGP's title-winning team as partner to the reigning World Champion, Edwards added: "A lot of people have been asking me this, but I really haven't looked at in that way. For me it's better; Valentino is the World Champion and he's working on developing the same bike that I'm riding!

"I think we can work together a lot; we are quite similar and what works for him generally works for me, too. We're working in the same direction and this is essential for a good team."

Edwards is up against a host of other MotoGP riders at Sepang but said the competition on the track could only benefit preseason development for all concerned. "I think it's good, the more the merrier!" he laughed.

"It means that we know what we're up against right from the start. However I think at this test the Honda guys will be on their old bikes, whereas we're already focusing on the 2005-spec versions, so perhaps the second test will be a better indication what's going on."

Rossi endorsed Edwards' opinion of the new bike after himself making good progress, setting the second fastest time of the first day behind Loris Capirossi. "Today was not too bad, for the first day back!" said Rossi. "We spent the day working on settings, and for sure we know that this new bike is a good bike.

"There is some improvement to the engine and now the aim is to make some more changes and to try to get the same feeling as we had with last year's bike, so I can ride it in the same way. This bike is almost completely new, plus I haven't ridden for two months, so there is a lot of work to do and we will continue tomorrow."

Gauloises Yamaha Team Director Davide Brivio confirmed that the early potential shown by Rossi and Edwards was the sign of things to come, with an intense testing programme planned for the YZR-M1.

"In November we tested a prototype bike and we've come here today with the final 2005 machine," said Brivio. "The work we did today was just normal work to fine-tune the settings. We've got 18 full days of testing planned before the start of the season, so we have plenty of time to work on all the issues and hopefully find a good solution for any difficulties. Today we have only just started."

Tags:
MotoGP, 2005, Colin Edwards, Valentino Rossi

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