Monster Tech 3 Yamaha boss Herve Poncharal was left wondering what might have been after seeing Colin Edwards set the third fastest lap of the race - quicker than any other Yamaha rider, including race winner Jorge Lorenzo - but only finish seventh in Sunday's French Grand Prix.
“We have to think that we missed something big,” said Poncharal. “We'd said that top five would be a dream but we could see from Colin's brilliant pace in the dry that had he started better when it was wet he could have had another podium in Le Mans.
“Colin struggled with some issues in the wet but as soon as he switched to the dry bike he was the fastest rider on track at some points and for sure a top three was a possibility.”
The Texan's podium challenge came undone when he nosedived from sixth on the grid to 16th on the wet opening lap, where he remained until the track began to dry on lap five.
“I'm really disappointed because it was definitely a missed opportunity for a podium,” said Edwards. “In the first part of the race on the wet tyres I just couldn't get the bike to turn. I'd lost so many places I was nearly at the back and I just wasn't comfortable. The bike was just sitting on the rear and I had no weight on the front, so I couldn't get into the corner.”
However, once he'd switched to slick tyres on lap eleven, the 35-year-old produced an impressive charge through the field, eventually snaring seventh from Loris Capirossi on lap 24 of 28.
“I saw some guys come into the pits and I thought it was a couple of laps too early because there were still some wet patches out there. I waited for a bit and came in and on the first couple of laps back out of the pits I lost so much time again,” he recalled.
“I was on the hard front tyre because I can't run the soft compound and it took a while to get some heat into it. I had a couple of moments but once it came good, it came really good and I got my head down.
“I think only Jorge was lapping faster than me and once I got my pace going I was catching people pretty quickly. To only finish seventh is a bit frustrating when you look at my times in the dry.