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Edwards and Crutchlow optimistic for race

Edwards and Crutchlow optimistic for race

Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team riders Colin Edwards and Cal Crutchlow will start tomorrow's Gran Premio bwin de España from eighth and ninth position on the grid respectively after an incident-packed qualifying session at the Jerez circuit.

American Edwards will start in the middle of the third row having taken full advantage of a revised front-end set-up to post a best time of 1’39.895. He was less than 0.2s away from claiming a second row position when he became one of numerous crashers in a dramatic session that took place at the Jerez track. Pushing hard to try and secure a top six grid position ahead of tomorrow's 27-lap race, Edwards lost the front-end of his YZR-M1 at the slow speed second corner, but was able to remount his machine and ride back to the pits.

Crutchlow secured his second successive top ten qualifying result in his rookie MotoGP campaign. The British rider finishing seventh fastest in the final practice session ahead of qualifying after setting a quicker time than team-mate Edwards and factory Yamaha rider Ben Spies. The 2009 World Supersport champion clocked a best lap of 1.40.019 to finish just 0.124s behind Edwards in ninth. Despite having less than four hours of track time at Jerez, Crutchlow was quicker than a host of established MotoGP stars with vast experience of the challenging Andalucía venue.

Colin Edwards, Monster Yamaha Tech 3
“I'm never happy with eighth position but I honestly couldn't have put in any extra effort than what I did. It is hard to be disappointed when I know I rode as hard as I could do. It was obvious how hard I was pushing when I crashed late in the session. But to even get close to the second row now with this level of competition, you've got to take a few risks. I'd just done my fastest lap of the session when I got into the second corner and lost the front. I wanted to push a bit more to try and get onto the second row, but obviously bit off more than I could chew and down I went. I felt good in the session because we modified the front forks by running a hard spring and it gave me the extra feedback I was looking for. On the hard rear tyre that we'll race on, I'm pretty happy because I was able to lap consistently in the low 1 minute 40s. We didn't make a big step with the softer tyre, so that shows we've got a decent race set-up and although it will be a tough race, I'm really looking forward to it.”

Cal Crutchlow, Monster Yamaha Tech 3
“I'm really happy considering I don't know this track at all and that there are a lot of talented riders behind me on the grid again. This morning in FP3 I was seventh and I've qualified ninth, so I'm obviously making big progress. That is pleasing for me and for my Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team crew, who have been working really hard to help me to adjust quickly to riding a MotoGP bike. My ideal time was sixth, so I can't complain about that given my lack of experience on this track. I actually felt more comfortable with the harder tyre than I did with the soft, so that bodes well for the race tomorrow. We definitely made a big improvement with the front-end of the bike and I felt much more comfortable today. But we sacrificed a bit of rear grip, so we've got to try and find a balance that gives me the grip I've got now with the front, but improves the rear feeling too. My target for the race will be to finish in the top ten. Looking at the lap times I'm similar to Hayden and Aoyama again like I was in Qatar. I was a little bit behind them at the end of the race in Qatar, so hopefully I can make that step and give them a closer battle here. My confidence is growing and I'm optimistic I can get a good result tomorrow.”

Tags:
MotoGP, 2011, GRAN PREMIO bwin DE ESPAÑA, Cal Crutchlow, Colin Edwards, Monster Yamaha Tech 3

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