Colin Edwards insisted his healing collarbone wasn't an issue on his MotoGP return at Catalunya on Friday, when a chatter fix for his Suter-BMW had the Texan 'excited'.
Edwards underwent surgery after suffering the shoulder injury when he was hit by a fallen Randy de Puniet in qualifying for Estoril in early May. Chris Vermeulen then stood-in for the Le Mans event and helped worked on some new electronics.
“My collarbone feels good, it's still a bit tender to touch but when I put my leathers on today I honestly didn't feel it, I don't have any pain, no problem there,” said Edwards.
“Today we started off with what we had at Portugal and some engine mapping changes with what the team found with Chris at Le Mans, which was an improvement.”
Edwards, the top CRT rider in the Qatar season-opener but yet to score since, finished 17th and 16th in Friday's pair of practice sessions.
However it was the set-up options available by the absence of chatter that was most significant.
“This afternoon we went out with the number two bike, which has a different engine spec and we had zero chatter,” he revealed. “We were able to go longer, lifted it up to get a little more transfer.
“I am excited that we can go long and not have any chatter and actually use the power that we have. The problem was that we had to go so short to get rid of the chatter and we couldn't use the power and now that has changed a little bit so feeling a bit happy about that.
“It's not going to be easy work but the bike being a bit longer makes it a bit easier on me.”
Crew chief Sergio Verbena gave further details.
“This morning we began with the same setting that we used at Estoril but it didn't work out,” he said. “In the end we found a way to improve Colin's feeling and be faster in the corner.
“We made some improvement this afternoon that made his feeling with the bike better and solved the chatter problem.
“This afternoon we didn't have chatter so we were able to improve the lap times. Now we are only 1 second from the best CRT bike and 3.7 seconds away from today's fastest rider. Now we have to work on decreasing the gap.”
Edwards was less than 4km/h behind the fastest CRT top speed in the afternoon session, set by Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) down the long Catalunya straight.
However Edwards was still over 23km/h slower than Casey Stoner's Factory Honda.