Edwards eyeing Rossi and Pedrosa threat

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Fiat Yamaha rider Colin Edwards has targeted team-mate Valentino Rossi and Dani Pedrosa as the big threats in the 2007 MotoGP world championship, despite Casey Stoner’s promising start to the new 800cc era.

Rossi and Pedrosa are the only two riders defending 100 per cent podium records in ’07 going into this weekend’s third round in Istanbul.

And the Texas tornado said: “I’ve looked at the season so far and thought those are the two guys (Rossi and Pedrosa) you’ve got to beat if you want to win the championship”

Rossi has needed just two races to open up a nine-point series lead with Pedrosa and Stoner tied for second on 36-points. Edwards is currently fourth in the standings heading into this weekend’s Turkey clash after he claimed his first rostrum of the campaign in Jerez last month.

Edwards added: “I think Stoner has been going good. We really don’t know with Casey if he’s going to be that good everywhere.

“It was good in Qatar and Jerez for him but we tested at those tracks in the winter.  We’ll understand a lot more after Turkey and China in terms of seeing where that Ducati is.”

Asked if he was shocked at Loris Capirossi’s early season slump despite Ducati’s impressive new factory GP7 800, Edwards told MCN: “From the outside its like Casey has nothing to lose, he’s young and it’s his first year in the team and he’s out to prove something as everybody knew he would be.

“We know the talent he’s got, he’s really talented. I don’t think it’s a big surprise to see him going better than Capirossi, but I think with Capirossi when the going gets tough he’s always found away to pull himself out of it. I’m by no means counting him out.”

Edwards heads to Turkey expecting a tough challenge with the new tyre rule as the Istanbul Park track is the first on the calendar where no winter testing was carried out.

Riders have chosen tyres for the first two races in Qatar and Jerez based on information gathered at winter tests.

But Turkey will be a whole new ball game and double World Superbike champion Edwards said: “It should be interesting. It’s a mystery for everybody and the tyre companies have got a big job ahead of them.

“We’ll be relying on them more than ever because we have no information.”

Edwards said he expected Yamaha’s new YZR-M1 800 to be a competitive package in Istanbul, though he doesn’t have a great record in Turkey with seventh and ninth places finishes.
“I like the track and always liked it but never had that good of a result. But I’ve never had this bike which I’m really comfortable with. I think it will be good and better than the 990 round there on the new bike.

And he added: “That long straight and big right-hander up the hill, we might lose a bit compared to the 990 there, but the 800 will be faster everywhere else. It’s tight and twisty in a lot of places so I think the lap times will still be faster.”

 


 

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt