Edwards '800 debut interrupted by rain at Sepang

15.11.2006: Edwards '800 debut interrupted by rain at Sepang

Colin Edwards got his first chance to try out Yamaha’s brand-new 800cc MotoGP bike today, but his debut on the bike was cut short due to bad weather at Sepang. Torrential rain fell on the Malaysian circuit from 1pm, flooding parts of the track and bringing about scenes reminiscent of September’s Grand Prix, when a similar storm led to the cancellation of Qualifying. The rain did begin to ease up as the afternoon wore on but parts of the track remained underwater and Edwards, along with all other MotoGP riders present, chose to stay in his garage.

Nonetheless Edwards and his crew made the most of a dry morning and the American was able to complete 32 laps before it began to rain, forming a positive initial opinion of the new bike in the process and setting the fastest time of the day with a lap of 2’03.56. Second fastest was Suzuki rider Chris Vermeulen with a time of 2’03.90.

Colin Edwards(1st – 2’03.56, 32 Laps):

"The weather has been a pain but actually we’d already accomplished more or less everything we wanted for the first day. The aim of today was to get on the new bike, do a few laps and just generally get a feel for it. I went out on one tyre for about 15 laps and then on another for 12 and my initial impression was pretty good; in fact the bike feels great for this stage of its development. Obviously power-wise it feels different, but other than that it just feels like it’s rounded-off a bit; not such a knife-edge and a little bit more forgiving. We didn’t change anything drastic from the set-up that Valentino's been running, but just made a few tweaks here and there through the morning to get things working better for me. Hopefully we’ll be a bit luckier with the weather tomorrow and then we can start to really work on it and see where we get to."

Davide Brivio - Camel Yamaha Team Director:

"Today the weather didn’t allow us to use the day to our full advantage, but anyway we completed quite a few laps and this was very important to get Colin’s initial comment on our new bike. This is the first taste for him and his information is going to be very important for our engineers. Unfortunately the weather this afternoon was just too bad and it was impossible to carry on, but now we hope for better conditions tomorrow so we can continue what we began today."  

Unofficial Lap Times (800cc Bikes)

1.Colin Edwards (USA) Yamaha, 2’03.56
2.Chris Vermeulen (AUS) Suzuki, 2’03.90
3.John Hopkins (USA) Suzuki, 2’04.06
4.Nicky Hayden (USA) Honda, 2’04.69
5.Toni Elias (SPA) Honda, 2’04.98
6.Makoto Tamada (JPN) Yamaha, 2’05.11
7.Tadayuki Okada (JPN) Honda Test Rider, 2’05.90
8.Carlos Checa (SPA) Honda, 2’11.05

Sepang Lap Record: Loris Capirossi (Ducati) 2006, 2’02.127
Sepang Best Lap: Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) 2006, 2’00.605

- Yamaha Racing Communications, Amsterdam -

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15.11.2006 / MaP

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