Tech 3's Colin Edwards and James Toseland will start Sunday's Valencia MotoGP season finale from the second row of the grid - as the leading Yamaha riders - after an impressive qualifying session.

Bidding to snatch fourth in the 2008 MotoGP Teams' World Championship from Rizla Suzuki, who are currently just four points in front, Edwards and Toseland will start next to each other in fourth and fifth places respectively for the 30-lap clash.

Edwards was rarely out of the top three after he used his first Michelin qualifying tyre shortly after the halfway stage of the qualifying session, logging his best time on his second qualifier as he took full advantage of an improved front-end feeling after modifications he made to his YZR-M1 in Malaysia last weekend.

Related Articles

"It has been an eventful weekend with the weather and if we get a dry warm-up, it is going to be really important to find a decent setting and pick a race tyre. If the race is dry we might have to rely on Michelin's knowledge and look over some data. I'm sure they had some other guys running around on different rubber to get a feel for what might work, so I'm confident and they won the race last year.

"We've had a couple of issues in the rain and thankfully our prayers for a dry track this afternoon were answered and it worked out good. I had a good pace going on a couple of race tyres I tried and on the qualifiers it is a case of how much do you want to bite off? I felt good and I was really confident and comfortable with the bike.

"The change we made with the offset in Sepang has really given me a lot of confidence with the front-end and I can really push with the extra grip of the qualifier. I got fifth on the grid in Malaysia and fourth here, so it shows the improvement was a big step because it was a real struggle to get close to the front row recently.

"I was hoping for a front row but in the end Dani just bumped me off, but I guess this is his home track and you expect those guys to pull one out at the end. I'll settle for what I've got because I think James and I can really put on a good show for the team tomorrow and secure that fourth in the team championship, which we all want to end on a high," added Edwards.

Toseland produced late heroics to claim his second top five grid position in the last three races. The British rider dropped out of the top ten when he was badly baulked by Marco Melandri at the final corner on his third Michelin qualifier, just as he was poised to elevate himself into the top five.

The problem intensified the pressure on Toseland to perform on his last qualifying tyre. The British rider kept his composure, delivering a lap time 0.3sec from Edwards despite a slower first sector.

"I'm really happy to be on the second row at the end because I had to pull a lap out under pressure after Melandri had baulked me at the last corner on my third qualifier," admitted the grand prix rookie. "I wasn't too worried because I thought he was going to start a fast lap, but as we came out of the final corner he didn't really do anything. That was a bit disappointing but I had to deliver on my last qualifier.

"When you know it is the last tyre you know you can't afford to make a mistake, and I did the first split nowhere near as good as I did on the previous tyre when I came across Melandri. I needed to do a '32 and luckily I managed it. Any less than the second row and it is very difficult because it so hard to pass at this track.

"I really want to end the season on a high for the team. I've had flashes of brilliance and some disappointing results in my rookie season, so hopefully I've got one more flash in me tomorrow. It would be good to end on a high and go into the winter positive for 2009," concluded the #52, looking to break a MotoGP best of sixth (where he has finished five times) on Sunday.

Edwards will start the race seventh in the riders' world championship standings with Toseland eleventh.