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Estoril Test provides Crutchlow and Edwards with big advances

Estoril Test provides Crutchlow and Edwards with big advances

Less than 24 hours after claiming a brilliant double top 10 finish in the Portuguese MotoGP round, Cal Crutchlow and Colin Edwards were back in action to complete a hugely productive test session at the Estoril circuit on Monday.

With seven hours of track time available and conditions ideal with no sign of forecast rain emerging, Crutchlow and Edwards dedicated the majority of the day to improving the set-up they used during Sunday's 28-lap race.

Changing handlebar positions and modifying the wheelbase of his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1 machine helped Crutchlow produce the performance of the test, the British rider shaving almost two seconds off his best time set when he finished in eighth position in the Portuguese Grand Prix.

The 25 year-old took full advantage of the revised set-up to log a best time of 1’36.850, which secured him a fantastic fourth place on the final timesheets. Only Marco Simoncelli, Jorge Lorenzo and Casey Stoner were able to lap faster than Crutchlow, who completed 71 laps.

It was a profitable day for Edwards too, the American working on a range of different suspension settings to try and improve rear grip with his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1 machine. Edwards was able to lap inside the top three for a large part of the test and a best time of 1’37.410 secured him the sixth fastest time in a 51-lap stint.

Crutchlow and Edwards were also able to give Bridgestone vital feedback and information on two new specification rear tyres designed for the new 1000cc MotoGP class in 2012. Both declared themselves impressed with the improved feedback and edge grip and both set their fastest times of the test on the 2012 tyres.

Cal Crutchlow – 1’36.850
“Today was really positive and I can't really ask for much more than finishing fourth quickest with only three of the fastest riders in the world in front of me. I was able to lap nearly two seconds faster than I did in the race but I was quietly confident that the changes we planned to make for today would mean I could go a lot faster. Losing so much track time because of the weather at the weekend meant I couldn't risk taking a gamble on making too many changes for the race. I honestly didn't expect to break into the 36s but I felt comfortable and even with 25 laps on the same set of tyres I was doing low to mid-37s. I know everyone goes faster in a test but my time today was faster than Dani Pedrosa's best lap in the race and he won, so my pace bodes well for the future. We moved the handlebars and lengthened the wheelbase and I just felt much more comfortable. The bike was a lot easier to ride and much less aggressive and I was fast throughout the whole day. If I'd had this set-up for the race I'm sure I could have had a battle with Colin, and he was sixth, so that's really encouraging. I can't wait for Le Mans now. It is the home race for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team and today's result has given me a lot of confidence that I can be competitive again on another track I have to learn from scratch."

Colin Edwards – 1’37.410
“It was a really positive test and it was good to get an opportunity to have a play around with some different settings that you don't necessarily get chance to try over the race weekend. We just concentrated all our effort on finding some rear traction and i t felt like we've made a big step. We tried various different combinations for the rear shock and linkages and we've found a good direction and we definitely made it better than it was for the race, so hopefully we found a set-up that will help us at the next race in Le Mans. I really like the direction Bridgestone is going in for 2012. I felt comfortable immediately on the new tyres and they've done some phenomenal work. Right from the first lap you get a lot of understanding and feel. The lap time was pretty similar with both and I'd love to have them this year. Based on what we've figured out today and the improvements we've made, I'm looking forward to going to France and getting another top six finish for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team in its home race.”

MotoGP, 2011, bwin GRANDE PREMIO DE PORTUGAL, Colin Edwards, Cal Crutchlow, Monster Yamaha Tech 3

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