With just two rounds of the 2009 MotoGP World Championship remaining the new engine-change limit, which restricts each rider to five engines for the last seven rounds, is having an increasing influence.
Loris Capirossi became the first rider to break the new rule last weekend in Australia, forcing the Italian to the back of the grid and a ten point penalty for Suzuki after a sixth engine was fitted to his GSV-R.
Then, on Friday at Sepang, both Monster Yamaha Tech 3 riders Colin Edwards
and James Toseland
once again struggled with engine performance on their way to ninth and 15th places.
“I feel good on the bike and I'm riding as hard as I can but my bike felt pretty slow out there today if I'm being honest,” said the Texan.
“I know this track like the back of my hand because we have come here so many times to race and test and we've got a particular gearbox setting where I know exactly what is going to happen on the track.
“But we've got to change the gearing tomorrow because I was braking so much later than normal because I just wasn't carrying the speed down the straight.
“The problem it gave me was that to make up any time you've got to ride much faster in the corners. But that means you wear the side of the tyre really quick, and with these high ground temperatures it is wearing the tyre much faster than I want.
“I'll sit down with my guys at Tech 3 tonight and see what we can come up with and I'm still confident of a positive weekend.”
Edwards was ranked tenth out of the 17 riders on top speed, 7.9km/h below the mark set by factory Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo.