Colin Edwards and Cal Crutchlow started preparations for the Misano MotoGP round with solid performances today, and the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team riders are confident they can significantly improve their pace for qualifying and the 28 lap race.
American Edwards set the tenth best time on the opening day of practice at a sun-kissed Misano circuit that witnessed temperatures soaring to a physically demanding 30 degrees in the afternoon. Working on improving high speed stability with his YZR-M1 machine, Edwards was able to knock almost three tenths off his best time in the opening session to finish with a 1'35.301. The 37 year old also dedicated a large portion of his 44 laps on track to evaluate the performance of Bridgestone's soft and hard compound rear tyre options to finish just over 0.3s away from the top six.
Crutchlow started well this morning and put his World Supersport and World Superbike knowledge of the 2.626 mile Misano track to good use to finish just over two tenths away from the top 10. Although he was able to lap over three tenths quicker in this afternoon's 45 minute session, the British rider wasn't rewarded for the improvement and he slipped down the order to 15th. Crutchlow is confident he can improve his pace tomorrow to challenge for a top 10 place on the grid, as he aims to focus on gaining more grip and confidence with Bridgestone's hard rear tyre.
?Today was a solid day without being too spectacular. We rolled off the truck from Indy not terribly fast and it's always nice to come out of the blocks with a bit more speed than I did. My biggest problem today has been high speed stability - you can lose a lot of time in the three really fast right-handers here. The front end was also tucking quite a bit this afternoon, and at times the sensation was like I was riding on a flat tyre. We made some changes which we felt were going to make the bike better, but we just ran out of time, so we'll sit down tonight and look at some data and come up with a plan for tomorrow. I feel confident and reasonably comfortable and with a couple of changes to the bike for tomorrow I'm sure we can come out all guns blazing. We also need to find something to help me with the hard rear tyre. I'm lacking a bit of entry grip, so we'll work on that too. Initially it feels fantastic but the lap times were no better. We got some ideas to get more side and entry grip with the h ard tyre, so I'm sure we'll be much faster tomorrow.?
?Today wasn't an easy start to the weekend but I don't think 15th place is a true reflection of our potential. I had a few issues with getting the hard rear tyre to work, so we'll need to have a look at a big improvement in that area for tomorrow. I ran the same soft tyre I'd used this morning in the second session and even with 36 laps on it, I went just as quick with that as what we did with a brand new hard tyre. Lorenzo is more than 1.5s quicker on the hard tyre and I can't get it to work, so we need to have a look at the setting and perhaps make the bike more similar to what we ran in Indianapolis. We'll have a look at the data tonight and see what we can work out for tomorrow. I'm trying my hardest and I don't think I'm that far away because 0.5s would put me eighth.?