Colin Edwards tried a longer wheelbase setting on his YZR-M1 machine for the first time since pre-season testing, during Thursday's Assen practice session, which he finished in a close seventh position.

The Texan, who topped the timesheets for part of the 60-minute session, lapped just 0.363sec away from pace setter Randy de Puniet but still has some front-end issues to resolve.

"I've gone back to a longer wheelbase setting I haven't run since winter testing and it's similar to what Valentino and Jorge have been running," explained the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider. "There are some advantages and some disadvantages but I've still got a small issue on the front like I had during the last race in Catalunya.

"I'm not able to turn into the corner as quickly as I'd like, and it feels like I'm waiting on the front before I can go through the corner. But the longer wheelbase has made it probably the best bike I've ever been on for the last part of this track. It's so stable in the fast sections and I'm able to make up a lot of time, so there's some good and some bad with it.

"We've just got to make some adjustments to make the bike turn a bit better and I feel confident that I can be pushing for another podium here. I love this track and have had some good results and would love to give Monster Yamaha Tech 3 a rostrum for all the hard work everybody is putting in.

"That would be a massive confidence boost for me too with Laguna Seca coming up," he added.

Team-mate James Toseland was 0.174sec slower than Edwards in ninth.