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Edwards battles to top ten in Mugello

Edwards battles to top ten in Mugello

Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider Colin Edwards rode to a hard fought ninth position in scorching hot temperatures during the Gran Premio d'Italia TIM at the Mugello track in Italy this afternoon.

Starting from his best grid position of the season in sixth place, the Texan quickly established himself in a group locked in an exciting fight for sixth position that included home crowd favourite Valentino Ross and compatriot Nicky Hayden.

Despite pushing hard to remain in the five-rider battle, Edwards was unable to maintain his fast early pace, the 37-year-old not getting the grip levels he expected from his soft compound Bridgestone rear tyre choice as track temperatures hit well over 50 degrees.

Today's 21-lap race ended in premature and disappointing fashion for Cal Crutchlow. The British rider was involved in the captivating tussle that involved Edwards when he experienced a loss of feeling and confidence with the front-end of his YZR-M1 machine in the early stages.

Not wanting to risk a crash that might further damage the left shoulder he broke during qualifying for his home race at Silverstone last month, Crutchlow opted to retire after completing six laps and is now concentrating on making a return to the top 10 when the 2011 MotoGP World Championship resumes at Germany's Sachsenring on July 17.

Colin Edwards 9th – 53 points:
“That was a pretty tough race. Basically we made the wrong rear tyre choice but it was so hard to decide which one was going to the better option. I'd been fast on both options but I felt like there was an advantage with the softer compound. It seemed easier to do the lap times that I needed to do to get away with the guys at the start. But I changed my mind a few times because we'd not had the afternoon sessions on Friday or Saturday because of the rain, so we didn't know how the tyre would react in the really hot conditions. With the track temperature much higher I just never had the grip I expected at the beginning. It never changed from the first lap to the last. There was no drop in performance, but it never really had the grip I wanted at the beginning. At the end of the day we made a bad call and sometimes it doesn't work out. To come out of a difficult race with a top ten is still a half decent result, so we move on now and hope for a better race in Germany.”

Cal Crutchlow DNF – 32 points:
“Right from the first lap I didn't have any confidence or feeling with the front-end and I kept running wide. I just didn't want to crash with the Silverstone shoulder injury at the back of my mind, so I felt the safest option was to pull into the pits. I was in that battle fighting for sixth place and the last thing I want to do is not fight, but I felt like I'd reached my limit. I am sorry for the Team because we have all worked incredibly hard and now I am determined to put this race behind me and focus on having a strong weekend at the next race in Germany, which I'm looking forward to."

Monster Yamaha Tech 3Team press release.

MotoGP, 2011, GRAN PREMIO D'ITALIA TIM, Colin Edwards, Cal Crutchlow, Monster Yamaha Tech 3

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