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First 2011 satellite podium falls to 'hero' Edwards
13 June 2011
Finishing on the MotoGP podium as a satellite rider is hard enough, but doing it just a week after breaking a collarbone is barely believable.
Yet that's exactly what Colin Edwards did at Silverstone on Sunday, when the American overcame his injury to master the soaking wet conditions and take the first rostrum by a non-factory rider this year.
Edwards had broken his collarbone just nine days earlier, during Friday afternoon practice for the Catalan Grand Prix, and undergone surgery to have a plate fitted the following day.
Incredibly, Edwards qualified eighth on the 15-rider grid in the dry at Silverstone, but the race-day downpour helped reduced the physical strain on his injuries.
Seventh for the first two laps, Edwards then overtook fellow Americans Nicky Hayden and Ben Spies, before mistakes by Jorge Lorenzo and Marco Simoncelli put him into third at the halfway stage of the 20 laps.
But there was no chance to back off as Hayden put on a late rostrum charge, the factory Ducati rider setting the fastest lap of the race as he tried to hunt down the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider.
Edwards responded with his best lap of the race, good enough for third overall and just 0.1sec behind the best lap by race winner Casey Stoner, and remained several seconds clear of Hayden at the line.
“That was an unbelievable race and to finish on the podium feels amazing," said the 37-year-old. "I was happy to qualify eighth but never in a million years did I think I'd be on the podium just over a week after breaking my collarbone.
"I need to thank Dr Xavier Mir for the repair job he did on my shoulder and also my guys at Monster Yamaha Tech 3 because they gave me a phenomenal bike today. My shoulder felt great and it was the muscle damage around my ribs that caused me the most pain.
"But the rain definitely helped because it was a lot less physical than in the dry. I just gritted my teeth and got on with it, just trying to stay smooth and not make any mistakes.
"Conditions were pretty bad and it was a case of working out when and where you could push. I'd have been happy to finish the race and then go home to think about Assen. But I saw a few people succumbing to the conditions and I saw P3 on by board and I couldn't believe it.
"At that time though there were still eight or nine laps to go and I couldn't feel my hands or my feet because it was so wet and cold. It was difficult but it was a good way to the end the weekend for the Team after what happened to Cal [Crutchlow].
"Nobody wants to get hurt, but being injured for your home race is really tough to take, so I wish him a quick recovery and hope to see him back in Assen.”
Team manager Herve Poncharal declared Edwards a 'hero'.
“Colin was absolutely amazing. Nobody would have bet any money on him to be on the podium just one week after having an operation on his broken collarbone. But Colin has been a hero and this is a memorable day for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team," said the Frenchman.
"It was a bad day yesterday when we saw Cal crashing and he was forced to miss his home race. But Colin helped put the smile back on the faces of everyone inside the team with a brilliant ride. And not only was he fast but he was very brave too."
Edwards had been denied his 12th MotoGP podium at round two of this year, also in wet conditions, when his M1 stopped on the final lap. Sunday marked his first rostrum since he finished second for Tech 3 in the 2009 British Grand Prix at Donington Park.
"Colin was robbed of a podium finish in Jerez in similar conditions a few weeks ago and I have to give him a lot of respect because it would have been easy just to go home to rest after his injury in Catalunya," said Poncharal.
"He rode for the team more than anything and it shows how much he is still enjoying racing and how motivated he is. He has been in a lot of pain but he's never complained and he treated the weekend like a normal weekend and his ride was the best of the day in MotoGP. He didn't make a mistake like some of the others so we are overjoyed."
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