Valentino Rossi wasn't the only person experimenting with a modified riding style
during the opening Sepang MotoGP test, with former team-mate Colin Edwards adapting to a different cornering technique.
“Ideally when you look at Marquez and Pedrosa and the new style we have to adapt to - is just 'pivot',” explained Edwards, speaking inside the Forward Racing pits at Sepang. “So you get in to the turn, get the bike on its side - then you have to be able to 'pivot', pick the bike up quickly and go.
“So you get a lot of your turning done in about five metres and I don't quite have that feel yet. I feel that I'm squeezing and squeezing and accidentally getting some pivot, but it's not how I want it to be.
“That's just playing and we'll have to work on the electronics.”
After battling with CRT machinery for the past two seasons, Forward Racing has secured full YZR-M1 engines for the new Open category.
Asked to compare the engine with the Factory M1s he raced in the past, Edwards replied: “Compared to the last one I was on, the 800cc, the way the power is delivered is a little different. This, the 1000cc, is just electric. From bottom to top there's no change.”
And while countryman Nicky Hayden has been battling flat spots in the power delivery of his Open Honda, Edwards stated: “I'll give you a million dollars if you can find a flat spot in our powerband!”
As well as a full M1 engine, the Forward bikes are presently using a Yamaha chassis and swing-arm, plus Factory Ohlins suspension, meaning they are being labelled by some as “Tech 3 M1s with four litres more fuel”, referring to one of the main concessions for using the Open class ECU software.
Edwards' team-mate Aleix Espargaro did little to banish that description by finishing the test in a stunning fourth place, just 0.465s from the unofficial record lap time by Factory Honda world champion Marc Marquez.
“Absolutely,” replied Edwards, when asked if he was impressed by Espargaro. “How old is he, 24? It'd be nice to be 24 again... Fresh balls. Young, dumb!
“He's doing great. Very impressive.”
Edwards went on to finish the week in 14th overall.
“It was a very positive test for the whole team. We know that we can count on a competitive package and there is a lot of potential. We found some interesting solutions so I look forward to the next test session.”