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Edwards brimming with confidence after fast start in Indianapolis

Edwards brimming with confidence after fast start in Indianapolis

Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider Colin Edwards made a superb start to his home MotoGP round at the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway today.

The popular Texan finished inside the top six in both practice sessions as preparations for the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix commenced in hot and humid conditions. Edwards finished this morning's first 45 minute session in a fantastic third position and he was one of only two non-factory riders to lap inside the top 10.

Lap times were some way off last year's pace as the field got to grips with the repaved infield section between turns five and 16. But with more rubber laid on the track, times tumbled in the second practice and Edwards was able to knock almost two seconds off his best pace. He ended with a fastest time of 1.41.699 to finish sixth on the combined timesheets, the 37-year-old once again leaving a host of factory supported riders trailing in his wake. Edwards was just over 0.2s behind reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo in fourth and he's confident he can mount a challenge for a top six in Sunday's 28 lap race.

Cal Crutchlow was also able to drastically improve his lap times in the second session, the British rider taking full advantage of the improved grip levels to finish with a best time of 1.43.085. That was 2.3s quicker than his benchmark set this morning as Crutchlow worked on improving the set-up of his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team machine, while also trying to learn the technically demanding Indianapolis Mo tor Speedway track. Crutchlow finished in 15th position overall but was only 0.7s away from the top 10. The 25 year old is confident with improved track conditions and further set-up modifications to gain more front-end confidence, he will be able to compete for a top 10 grid position in tomorrow afternoon's qualifying session.

Colin Edwards:
“This morning it felt like I was back at the Texas Tornado Boot Camp but just riding a more expensive bike because it was pretty slippery out there. To be honest I actually really enjoyed it even though the grip was a bit sketchy. We all knew that grip was going to be a little bit of an issue this morning but it was 100 per cent dirt track. As soon as you got your knee on the ground the front would go and the rear would come round, but I still had a lot of fun with the bike moving around so much. This afternoon with a lot more rubber down it was a lot better and hats off to the folks at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. They've done an amazing job because the bumps that have been really bad have mostly gone and with a bit more rubber down the surface is going to offer a lot more grip. We won't feel the benefit of the new tarmac this year but the changes are for the future and next year it is going to be a million times better. Being third this morning and sixth this afternoon has given me a lot of confidence for the rest of the weekend. I'm not fighting the bike this weekend and it feels awesome.”

Cal Crutchlow:
“This morning was pretty difficult because the track was very slippery and I was having to contend with not a lot of grip while also trying to push to l earn the track. Sometimes I'd run off line and it was so dirty that I was losing a lot of time. The track was in much better condition this afternoon but it felt like I didn't have the front grip I needed to push for a faster time. We had a lot of wear on the tyre and not much grip and I'm not sure why. The issue this year has been losing the front on the brakes, but today I was losing the front mid-corner and off the throttle. I'm sure we can make some big steps with the set-up and I'm confident I can climb a few places up the order and fight for a top 10 in qualifying tomorrow. The good thing is that every single lap we make improvements and I go faster, so if we can get more front-end feeling then I'm looking forward to having a strong race.”

Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team press release

MotoGP, 2011, RED BULL INDIANAPOLIS GRAND PRIX, Cal Crutchlow, Colin Edwards, Monster Yamaha Tech 3

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