Colin Edwards started and finished today’s MotoGP Cardion ab Grand Prix Ceské Republiky in eighth position, the American once again finishing the leading non-factory rider on board his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine. The 37-year-old rode a determined race throughout the 22-lap encounter, which took place under cloudy but warm skies in front of a massive crowd of 155,400 at the Brno circuit.
After struggling to find maximum traction in this morning’s Warm-up session, Edwards made a geometry modification to his YZR-M1 machine prior to the race. Although he felt the modifications improved front and rear grip, the improvements weren’t reflected by an improvement in his lap times, and he spent almost the entire race in close pursuit of fellow American Nicky Hayden’s factory Ducati machine.
Despite launching numerous attempts to up his pace and get within striking distance of the 2006 World Champion, Edwards was frustrated in his attempt to seize a hard-fought seventh position. He still collected eight valuable World Championship points to keep him well on course for a top 10 finish in the overall rankings.
Round 11 of the 2011 MotoGP World Championship ended in unhappy circumstances for Cal Crutchlow. The 25-year-old was optimistic he could battle for a top 10 result. But his race was ended prematurely by a front-end crash at the first corner on lap seven after he’d just passed Hector Barbera for 10th.
Crutchlow was able to walk away uninjured but the British rider was frustrated that his hard work throughout the weekend went unrewarded.
Colin Edwards, 8th, +24.189:
“I said yesterday that if I finished in the same position that I started that I would be pretty happy. I guess I am pretty happy but it was not an easy race. I know I gave it my absolute maximum out there but eighth position was the best I could do but by no means was it a bad weekend. In the Warm-up this morning I had zero traction, so we made a small geometry change for the race and it was definitely better. I had more grip but the lap time was the same as this morning. All I kept seeing on my lap timer on the dashboard was 58.5, 58.5. It must have been like that for about 14 laps in a row and at one point I thought it had broken. I just couldn’t go much faster and it seems we are lacking traction compared to the others. I was spinning the rear tyre a lot and right now our bike feels a little bit unforgiving. I was right on the back of Nicky for pretty m uch the whole race but I couldn’t do anything with him. Our lap times just didn’t deviate at all, so I couldn’t get close enough to him. It wasn’t like he had more grip than me, but because we were doing the same pace I didn’t get close enough to attack him.”
Cal Crutchlow, DNF:
“Nobody is more disappointed than me with what happened because another crash is the last thing I needed. I am currently having a difficult run of races but all I can do is get my head down, work hard with my crew and try and put things right in the future. At the moment I am struggling with grip in the front-end and we seem to have been going round in circles a little bit to find a solution. Today I was off brake and accelerating at the first corner when I lost the front. The last person who wants to crash is me, but I can only do my best. I am sorry to my Team and Yamaha but I am s ure they realise that I am trying as hard as I can to get a good result. We’ve got a test tomorrow and that is important because we can work on the bike without the time constraints of practice. We can dedicate all our time to trying to give me some confidence back in the front. I still believe in myself and I am determined to get a good result in Indianapolis.”
Hervé Poncharal, Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team Manager:
“Today feels a bit like a repeat of what happened in Laguna Seca. Colin had a strong race and I believe he got the best result we could have hoped for. He was pushing from the beginning to the end and he never gave up trying to put pressure on Nicky. I want to thank him for trying so hard and keeping a constant pace for the whole race. On the other side of the garage with Cal, I always try to understand, support and help, but he doesn’t feel confident with the front for some reas on. Part of this game is to adapt yourself and the riding style to the bike you have and we are crashing too much. And not finishing the races, I don’t think that this is the way to learn in your rookie year. I don’t want to blame anybody, but we need to be positive and think what we can do to help him in the future races. We know what he is capable of after the way he started the season so strongly, so we need to get back to that level of performance and hopefully it will come soon, starting at the next race in Indianapolis.”