Colin Edwards, who told Crash.net
that Yamaha's new M1 was like a 990 after his first ride on the bike during winter testing at Sepang, believes the bottom end punch which made the engine so impressive has now been lost.
The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider has complained of a performance drop ever since the switch to 'long life' engines was made, two rounds ago at Brno.
The theoretically more reliable 'long life' engines, which in most cases seem to be de-tuned versions of the previous powerplants, are in response to a rule which limits each rider to a maximum of five engine changes for the final seven rounds of this season, with only six engines to be allowed for the while of 2010.
Edwards and team-mate James Toseland set an identical top speed of 270.7km/h to be ranked joint 14th in terms of maximum speed during Friday practice. That was 8 km slower than the Ducati of Mika Kallio but only 3.1km slower than the fastest factory Yamaha of Jorge Lorenzo (9th).
After finishing Friday practice at Misano in sixth place, Edwards revealed he is to try gearing changes to compensate for the loss.
"We got a lot of work done, the bike was very close to begin with and with a rear setting adjustment and a switch to the hard tyres, the bike started feeling really good,” began the Texan.
“But my bike feels slow. I know we have the same gearing as last year but the bike is not reacting, it feels like there is no bottom end and you have to keep the RPM up and carry astronomical corner speeds.
“I guess it is the long life engines, we have lost some of the bottom end that Yamaha made such a good step on earlier this year. We plan to shorten the gearing for tomorrow and I reckon I have half a second in three corners just from that,” he stated.
Toseland finished the session ninth but just 0.238sec behind Edwards.
"This is one of my better Friday session this season and we started with the Indianapolis set-up and just made some small changes,” explained the Englishman. “The bike is a little bit aggressive on the rear over the bumps so we are working to smooth that out. The track is quite bumpy this year but it always is around here and you forget how bad the bumps are. I got up to sixth at one point and then dropped to ninth but only 0.5s off fourth. I'm pleased, a good session for a Friday."