MotoGP »

Edwards: Having fun - going fast.

By Peter McLaren

Colin Edwards says his exit from the factory Yamaha team has removed pressure from his shoulders, increased his motivation and - if last week's Sepang test is anything to go - helped propel him to the sharp end of the MotoGP field.

Edwards, transferred to the satellite Tech 3 outfit to make way for 250cc world champion Jorge Lorenzo in the Fiat team, finished the three-day Malaysian test in fourth place - but was second on all-important race tyre times after a "phenomenal" lap of 2mins 1.179secs, which put him just 0.2secs slower than world champion Casey Stoner.

"Colin was one of the fastest on race tyres, which is very important," team principal Herve Poncharal told "Qualifying tyres may change the order - I think Nicky Hayden [quickest overall at the test] improved his time by almost one and a half seconds with a qualifying tyre - but what we're here for is to prepare for racing."

Edwards was the only rider in the top eight to set his best time while using multi-lap rubber - and his only real disappointment was that he couldn't lower his pace further during a qualifying run.

"Our plan was to come here and figure out why we're getting a little bit of chatter with the qualifier. We fixed that problem and now we've encountered another problem. We know how to fix that too so it's no big deal," Edwards told

"But as far as race tyres, the bike, the team and everything - I couldn't be happier. Michelin have been doing a brilliant job and Yamaha have made a pretty big step with the chassis, so it's looking good so far," he confirmed.

Sepang marked the former double World Superbike champion's first taste of the new 2008 YZR-M1, which for the satellite Tech 3 team is powered by an improved version of the traditional spring-valve engine. The pneumatic-valve engine is presently only available to the factory team, until it shows a clear - and reliable - improvement over the standard design.

"Engine wise, we're not running the latest of the latest, but I think it's stronger than what we had at the last test," said Edwards. "We could use a little more top speed, but that'll come whenever they have it available."

The #5 added that it's rumoured he'll get the pneumatic-valve engine "a couple of races into the season."

Whatever the valve system, Edwards gives the impression that the biggest card up his sleeve will be Michelin tyres - despite last year's sudden decline, which prompted former team-mate Valentino Rossi to make a much-publicised switch to Bridgestone. A decision the Italian superstar, almost 0.7secs slower than Edwards on race tyres at Sepang, may yet regret...

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Edwards, Sepang MotoGP Test January 2008
Edwards, Sepang MotoGP Test January 2008
Edwards, Sepang MotoGP Test January 2008
Mahindra unveils 2016 Moto3 racer
Smith, Sepang MotoGP test, February 2016
Rossi, Sepang MotoGP test, February 2016
Stoner and Iannone, Hernandez Sepang MotoGP test, February 2016
Aleix Espargaro, Sepang MotoGP test, February 2016
Barbera, Sepang MotoGP test, February 2016
Rabat, Sepang MotoGP test, February 2016
Pol Espargaro, Sepang MotoGP test, February 2016
Honda mechanics watch Pedrosa do a practice start, Sepang MotoGP test Feb 2016
Pedrosa, Sepang MotoGP test Feb 2016
Baz`s seat, Sepang MotoGP test Feb 2016
Marquez`s bike, Sepang MotoGP test Feb 2016
Rossi using under seat fuel tank, Sepang MotoGP test Feb 2016
Rossi`s bike, Sepang MotoGP test Feb 2016
Yamaha test bike, Sepang MotoGP test Feb 2016

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.

© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.