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Edwards primed for top six challenge in Indianapolis

Edwards primed for top six challenge in Indianapolis

Colin Edwards will start his bid for a top six finish in front of his home fans at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway tomorrow from the second row of the grid after he equaled his best qualifying performance of 2011 this afternoon.

The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider was able to transfer his good practice form into the 60 minute qualifying session and he will start tomorrow's race from sixth on the grid. Throughout the three practice sessions, Edwards was consistently running inside the top six and a fastest lap of 1’40.098 in a sun drenched qualifying session saw him finish just over 0.1s away from claiming fourth spot on the grid.

With the new infield paving offering improved levels of grip with more rubber laid down on the track, Edwards was able to lap 1.2s faster than his best time in qualifying at last year's race. The Texan is optimistic that he can battle for a third top six result of the 2011 season to strengthen his bid to finish the campaign as the leading non-factory rider.

British rider Cal Crutchlow had a frustrating end to an otherwise encouraging qualifying session and he will start the from 11th position on the grid. The 25-year-old has dedicated the majority of his time this weekend to make progress in finding a comfortable front-end setting with his YZR-M1. His commitment and determination looked like being rewarded with a top 10 place on the grid, but as he pushed to improve his best lap time of 1’40.620, Crutchlow was held up by another rider and had to quickly take evasive action to avoid a collision, running into the gravel, preventing him from making any further improvement to his lap time.

Colin Edwards:
“The weekend has been great so far and now I'm really looking forward to the race tomorrow. I haven't been out of the top six in every session and everything has been working fantastic. I feel great on the bike, my Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team have been working tirelessly again to give me a competitive package, and I'm sure a realistic goal is to finish in the top six. That would be a great result and I'm hoping to put on a good show for the Indy crowd tomorrow. The new pavement was a million times better today. Yesterday it was greasy and I was sliding around all over the place, but to finish third in that first practice session gave me a lot of confidence immediately and we have just built on that. The bike has felt the best it has for a few races and now I'm excited for the race. I need a good start but I'll be looking to have a good fight with Dovizioso and Simoncelli. In this heat it is going to be a long and tough race, but I'll be giving it my all for the American fans.”

Cal Crutchlow:
“I'm pretty disappointed…I had to swerve really quick to avoid hitting a rider and that is disappointing. I'm not saying I was going to jump into the top five, but I'm sure without that I might have qualified inside the top ten. That would have been a good result because I'm struggling with the front end again. I keep losing the front and it is proving quite difficult at the moment to find an improvement. I'm working really hard, and so are my guys, to find a solution. But we haven't quite made me as comfortable on the bike as I'd like. My pace is still not that bad and I'm sure I can be fighting in a group with Nicky and Alvaro tomorrow. If I can get a good start, I'm hopeful I can stay with them and have a good scrap.”

Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team press release

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

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