After a shaky start with the new Magneti-Marelli standard ECU system at Sepang, Colin Edwards heads into the 2013 MotoGP season 'happy and ready to race' after improvements to the electronics at the final Jerez test.
Edwards, whose Forward Racing team has switched from Suter-BMW to FTR-Kawasaki CRT machinery for 2013, has been towards the lower end of the timesheets during the three pre-season tests.
However the experienced Texan gave an upbeat assessment of his machinery ahead of the Qatar season opener on April 4-7.
“All done with pre-season testing and overall feeling happy,” he declared.
“As far as the bike is concerned the bike, the chassis is fantastic. We have done a lot of work in a short amount of time to figure out a good balance. What worked in Malaysia we had to change a little bit here, Jerez always seems to be a bit particular on bike setting.
“In terms of the engine, we've come off from our first test, got a better unit and the exhaust as well, so we have added a little power.
“We have been mainly playing with electronics, really trying to figure out traction control and yesterday we ultimately found something that we can always improve - but right now it's consistent and comfortable and that's what we have been lacking a little bit of.
“I'm happy, I'm ready to go to the first race.”
Edwards was 24th out of 25 riders in terms of best lap time at Jerez. Rookie team-mate Claudio Corti was an impressive 16th quickest.
“We still have to figure out a few things like the electronics and tyres, which I haven't been able to take to the limit,” said the Italian. “The FTR-Kawasaki package is strong even if we do lose a bit of time exiting the corners, but we have to keep in mind that we are not a factory team, we are a private team. The Aprilias are not as far ahead of us as we thought they would. Our job now is to keep our heads down and open gas.”
Technical director Sergio Verbena confirmed it had been a positive final test.
“We are happy with the results even if the weather has not allowed us to test in the best possible conditions,” he said. “The feeling with the electronics is pretty good and I would like to thank 2D, especially Dirk Debus for this collaboration.
“We go to Qatar with a good base. Claudio has proven to be fast on a one fast lap and Colin shows good constant pace. We have positive expectations.”
The standard ECU is being used by seven CRT riders this season. It will be compulsory from 2014.