Colin Edwards converted his strong practice performances into an equal 2011 qualifying best of sixth on the grid for his home Indianapolis MotoGP.

The Monster Yamaha tech 3 rider has been in the top six all weekend and qualified just 0.151sec from fourth-placed factory Honda rider Dani Pedrosa.

"The weekend has been great so far and now I'm really looking forward to the race tomorrow. I haven't been out of the top six in every session and everything has been working fantastic," said Edwards.

"I feel great on the bike, my Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team have been working tirelessly again to give me a competitive package, and I'm sure a realistic goal is to finish in the top six."

With the new infield tarmac offering vastly improved levels of grip with more rubber laid down, Edwards was able to lap 1.2sec faster than his best time in qualifying for last year's race.

"The new pavement was a million times better today. Yesterday it was greasy and I was sliding around all over the place, but to finish third in that first practice session gave me a lot of confidence immediately and we have just built on that.

"The bike has felt the best it has for a few races and now I'm excited for the race. I need a good start but I'll be looking to have a good fight with Dovizioso [fifth] and Simoncelli [seventh]. In this heat it is going to be a long and tough race, but I'll be giving it my all for the American fans."

On the other side of the Tech 3 pits, British rookie Cal Crutchlow had a frustrating end to qualifying when he ran off track after taking evasive action to avoid a slow-moving Loris Capirossi.

"I'm pretty disappointed with Loris today," said Crutchlow. "He is the most experienced rider on track and he should no better than anybody that riding slowly at the end of a qualifying session when everybody is going to be pushing hard for a decent grid position isn't the right thing to do.

"The worst thing was he looked behind twice and saw me coming but he stayed on the racing line when he knew I was on a fast lap. I had to swerve really quick to avoid hitting him and that is disappointing."

The incident left Crutchlow eleventh on the grid.

"I'm not saying I was going to jump into the top five, but I'm sure without that I might have qualified inside the top 10," he continued. "That would have been a good result because I'm struggling with the front-end again. I keep losing the front and it is proving quite difficult at the moment to find an improvement."