Colin Edwards achieved a personal milestone with his 100th point-scoring finish in his home US Grand Prix on Sunday, but that was the only real highlight of an otherwise difficult race.
Edwards started and finished the 32-lap event in seventh to become only the 14th rider in the 61-year history of world championship racing to score points in 100 races.
Slipping to ninth on the opening lap, Edwards fought his way back into seventh on lap seven and began a pursuit of a battle for fifth place involving Spaniard Toni Elias and compatriot Nicky Hayden.
Edwards, who has only failed to score points in 10 of his premier-class appearances, closed to within two seconds of Elias on lap 12. But his hopes of a fourth top six finish in 2009 ended when he ran into front-end issues during the second half of the race.
“It's great to score my 100th points finish in front of my home fans and doing it for Monster, Yamaha and Tech 3 who have given me great support. But I expect more than finishing seventh,” stated Edwards.
“I'm pretty tired now and it was a really physical race because I couldn't get the bike to turn. Each time I threw it on its side it just went straight out to the kerb. I was using a lot of effort to get the bike to turn and it felt like the front forks were sitting between my legs.
“When I braked the front didn't feel like it was coming back up. It felt like the front was buried in the ground and just pushed me out to the edge of the track. I ride over the front a lot but today it felt like I was crawling all over it, almost like I was sitting on top of the tank.
“It wasn't super special and we've got to go back to the drawing board I think for Germany. My pace was consistent and I was doing between 22.9 or 23.1 the whole race, but that just wasn't fast enough,” he warned.
Edwards is now fifth in the riders' championship standings and his latest result also put Monster Yamaha Tech 3 just two points behind fourth placed Rizla Suzuki in the teams' contest.
“It was a tough weekend but Colin still had a good race,” said team manager Herve Poncharal. “He had a good pace and while it wasn't fast enough to be on the podium he got some good points and now he's fifth in the championship and still the top independent team rider. It was also his 100th point-scoring finish in MotoGP and I'm pleased that he has achieved that with the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha Team. Colin has done a fantastic job for our team and it shows what a consistent performer he has been for Yamaha.”
Team-mate James Toseland was excluded for failing to serve a jump-start penalty.