Colin Edwards claims he hardly needed to touch the 'awesome' new Yamaha YZR-M1 on his way to fourth position at the Sepang test - during his debut on a bike that feels like a 990 - and has cracked the 'secret' of using Bridgestone tyres.
The Tech 3 star was seventh fastest out of the 19 riders during the first two days in Malaysia, when he lowered his best lap from 2min 3.254sec to 2min 2.241sec, then jumped forward to fourth on the final day with a 2min 1.413secs.
That placed the Texan just 0.370sec behind Ducati's Casey Stoner and only 0.276sec from the lead Yamaha of Valentino Rossi.
“Yamaha knew how to make the bike better, especially with the Bridgestones - because of Valentino using them last year - and that was the key thing,” explained Edwards, during an exclusive interview with Crash.net
. “The bike is a little bit different from what I ended on last year but it's working awesome.
“We just showed up here, and sh*t, the first day we never even touched it; not a click, not a spring! Then on day two we tinkered around a little, but even after three days we're still more or less on the same setting. Just fine tuning - and it's working.”
Edwards believes that reigning six time MotoGP world champion Rossi deserves the credit for such an instantly effective machine.
“I think Valentino had, and has had, full lead development with this bike and whatever he asks for from Yamaha, he gets,” said the #5. “The most important thing for me is that, what he asked for is what I would have asked for.”
The double World Superbike champion then revealed that the biggest progress has been in terms of power delivery, with Yamaha 'plugging the holes' in the 800cc M1s powerband so that it now acts more like a 990.
“We needed some more grunt off the corners,” stated Colin. “We were pretty much at the limit as far as trying to carry maximum amount of corner speed to keep the RPMs where you want it, so you could have some power exiting the corner.
“It was really hard to dice with somebody last year because if they screwed your line up you dropped out of the powerband. So Yamaha have really worked a lot on that - bottom and mid-range - and now you can almost make a little mistake, square it off and you have power.”
Like the 990s were?