Neck injury and grip problems hamper Colin Edwards at Laguna Seca MotoGP

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Colin Edwards’ hopes of celebrating a new Tech 3 Yamaha contract in style at his home race in Laguna Seca suffered a disappointing start.

The Texan, who announced a new one-year deal on the eve of his home race, had severe Michelin grip issues on the opening day as he ended up down in seventh overall at the end of free practice.

His best lap of 1.23.077 was just over 1.2s slower than Casey Stoner’s best pace as Edwads was also hampered by a neck injury he suffered when crashing out of the German GP last Sunday.

Edwards said: “ That certainly didn’t go as well as I expected and right now it looks like it is going to be a tough weekend.

"Firstly, something is wrong with my neck. I’m trying to be the tough guy but I can’t even turn my head to look around. There is something clicking and grinding in there so I am going to get an X-ray in my neck with Dr Ting just to make sure everything is okay.

"The issue is with the down force and in particular with the weight of my helmet pushing down on my head. It is like somebody is ramming a red hit poker or a knife in my neck.

"It happened in the crash in Germany and it is certainly not helping me. But I have got a few issues that are making it tough. I’m having problems with getting heat into the tyres at the moment, and to do the lap time I did right at the end, I’m giving myself a pat on the back for that.

"I did my best time on my 18th lap on that tyre, so obviously it gets better the more you use it. But early on with the temperature issue it is tough to run the pace of where we need to be. I guess we just got to hope it gets a bit warmer to try and help the grip.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt