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American Colin Edwards responded to questions regarding the upcoming Red Bull Indianapolis GP round in a teleconference with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway earlier in the season.
What's your reaction to the repaving of the infield portion of the road course for the Red Bull Indianapolis GP?
I think it's fantastic. We had a couple of issues there in the past with some different pavements and a couple of big spots here and there. To know that IMS is making the effort to repave it, that says a lot. I'm excited to get there and try it out.
The track now has a consistent surface all the way around the entire distance of the racetrack. In your opinion, was the repave necessary?
That's a tricky question. We all have to race on the same thing. So I don't think it's, let's say, unfair for all of us to go out there on whatever the pavement is. Is it going to be nicer? Hell, yeah. Of course. Is it going to be more of a pleasure to go race there? Of course. Setup is going to be a heck of a lot easier. You're not going to have to set up for a few of the fast corners and then just survive the rest of the track. You can pretty much set up for the whole track once you repave it. That's one good advantage to it.
How you're going to approach the weekend considering you guys don't get to test there?
The way it used to be, you had so many different pavements. You had a couple of big bumps here and there. Maybe you had to set the bike up for one part of the track or the other part of the track. I think basically repaving, besides the fact that it's just going to be fantastic to ride and a brand-new paved track, but you're going to be able to set the bike up more for the entire track. That's going to be the biggest improvement for us. We're not going to have to fight a couple of corners just so we can set it up for over here. We'll be able to set it up for the whole thing.
Is early, committed application of the throttle critical to getting heat into the Bridgestones?
That's a very analytical point of view that you have there. It's so hard to go out there and commit to something that you have no feeling of. You've got to trust your electronics, and you've got to trust pretty much what the bike is telling you. I'm probably one of the slowest and always have been one of the slowest guys out of the pits on Bridgestones. I like to work my way over on the side, and once I can get there, you can pretty much hammer it out. That's the key. Not getting, as I did in Barcelona, if you get crossed up going in, that's when you're going to get hurt. But once you start coming out, if you can bend it over and build up some heat, than that's definitely the way to do it. Even Valentino had his problems last year with the cold tire. But he's still one of the fastest guys out of the pit, and it makes me nervous just to watch. He goes into Turn 1 and Turn 2 and flicks it on the side, and I just sit there and I'm like, "Oooh, God." I don't know. It just doesn't look safe. I know the tires. But once they get heated up, they're fantastic. It's just that first couple of lefts and couple rights that are a little bit timid.
What does it take to do a fast lap at Indianapolis?
I think just about anywhere, you've got to take your brain out and hold on to your balls and just pin it. Not necessarily just at Indy. Indy is pretty special with Turn 1 coming in there. Late, deep braking into there, carrying your momentum around to Turn 2. That's a place where you can gain a couple of tenths pretty easy if you hit it just perfect. The same with the back, the last four or five corners. You can gain a lot of time there, as well. There are a couple of tricky sections on that track, but as long as you link it all together, that's like any racetrack: That's the key to getting a good lap time.
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