Edwards fastest in Qatar

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Colin Edwards is determined not to let Valentino Rossi and Dani Pedrosa assume complete control in the 2007 MotoGP world championship – and backed up his ambition by going fastest in first free practice in Qatar this morning.

While Pedrosa and factory Yamaha team-mate Rossi have been consistently the two fastest riders in winter testing, Edwards has been at the top of the bunch in pursuit.

And he showed his sheer pace with a best lap of 1.56.66, a fraction ahead of Casey Stoner in second (1.56.74) and Valentino Rossi in third 1.56.78).

The double World Superbike champion is confident he can give the his rivals a good run for their money: “I think Valentino and Pedrosa are kind of putting the message out there that they are the ones that want to be fighting for the title.

“I’m the guy hanging on to their coat tails at the moment saying ‘not so fast motherf**kers, I’m coming and I’m right there.

“They shouldn’t count their chickens."

Stoner set pole in Qatar last year in his MotoGP debut, and he leads Ducati team-mate Loris Capirossi in fifth by half a second. Carlos Checa is a surprise fourth on his LCR Honda.

Reigning champion Nicky Hayden was down in 16th place this morning.

TIMES:

1 Colin Edwards 1.56.66
2 Casey Stoner 1.56.74
3 Valentino Rossi 1.56.78
4 Carlos Checa 1.57.09
5 Loris Capirossi 1.57.27
6 John Hopkins 1.57.28
7 Marco Melandri 1.57.44
8 Shinya Nakano 1.57.49
9 Dani Pedrosa 1.57.70
10 Alex Hofmann 1.58.02
11 Randy de Puniet 1.58.23
12 Toni Elias 1.58.26
13 Alex Barros 1.58.31
14 Chris Vermeulen 1.58.55
15 Kenny Roberts 1.58.77
16 Nicky Hayden 1.58.92
17 Olivier Jacque 1.59.59
18 Sylvain Guintoli 1.59.67
19 Andrew Pitt 2.00.58
20 Makoto Tamada  2.01.49
21 J. Jeremy McWilliams 2.01.76

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt