Colin Edwards has confessed that he expects his healing ribs to 'cause [him] a few problems' in the upcoming Italian Grand Prix at Mugello, but the Tech 3 Yamaha star insists he is fully-prepared to 'suffer' in the conquest of a good result.
Off the back of his tremendously gritty podium finish at Silverstone, Edwards took the chequered flag a tyre-hobbled seventh last time out at Assen, but muscle damage to his ribcage caused in his collarbone-breaking accident at Catalunya back at the beginning of this month is still the source of considerable discomfort for the experienced American.
With Mugello's 3.259-mile layout featuring numerous hard-braking points and fast changes of direction, the 37-year-old Texan is anticipating having to ride through the pain barrier again this weekend, but still he is eagerly looking forward to the action ahead, around one of the most popular, spectacular and challenging circuits on the annual MotoGP calendar – one whose recent resurfacing at least means he will not be punished too severely by the Tuscan track's hitherto notoriously bumpy sections.
“My ribs are still sore from Assen, and I'm expecting them to cause me a few problems this weekend because Mugello has a lot of fast changes of direction,” Edwards conceded. “That's the point where I suffer the most, because I don't have 100 per cent strength in my upper body.
“I am looking forward to getting to Italy and seeing all the Italian fans – I've loved racing in Italy right from my World Superbike career, and the atmosphere at Mugello is always special. The first job will be checking the new surface. I've heard good reports about it, but the extra grip means we'll probably have to tweak the set-up of the bike a little bit.
“The Yamaha has been working well recently, though, and I'm sure we've got a competitive package. Hopefully we can have better conditions, too. Silverstone and Assen have been pretty wet, so I'm looking forward to a whole weekend where we can put on a show for the fans on a dry track.”