French MotoGP: Colin Edwards angry at missing out on pole

1 of 1

Colin Edwards was upset with Italian Marco Melandri after the factory Ducati rider wrecked his hopes of claiming a home pole position for the Tech 3 Yamaha team in Le Mans this afternoon.

The American was trying to snatch his second successive pole in Le Mans from Dani Pedrosa when he was badly baulked by Melandri on his last Michelin qualifying tyre.

Edwards, who was fastest at the end of the three free practice sessions, had shot to the top of the timesheets with 20 minutes remaining with a lap of 1:33.065. That moved him a massive 0.702secs clear of the field.

He marginally increased his advantage with his second qualifier with 11 minutes remaining, but a late charge from Pedrosa saw him steal top spot.

Edwards, who also claimed pole in Shanghai earlier this month, said: “Melandri cost me pole position and I’m a bit upset to be honest because this is my team’s home race and he is just cruising around at a time when he knows guys are going to be going for it. He should know better with all of his experience.

“I’ve got to admit that I thought I’d done enough for pole position today. I’ll even admit that the time I did with my first tyre might be good enough. I thought I’m just going to kick back with a coffee but the buys starting knocking down the times and when I did my second lap of 32.7, I thought ‘that is going to be close to pole.’

“I was out on my last tyre and I was hammering it but still felt pretty comfortable like I had more in reserve. Then I came out of the bottom hairpin and Marco was in front of me, but he was a good 15 bike lengths clear. He stayed way over to the left and I thought ‘okay, he’ll look back and see me.’ But he didn’t look back and unfortunately it cost me a bit of time, which is a little frustrating.

“I almost ran into the back of him and I had to stand the bike up and run over the inside of the kerb. Maybe if I had just kept the throttle wide open I’d have still got a fast time. It could have been pole position because I’d matched Dani through the first two splits and the strongest section for Yamaha has always been T4.

“With our chassis and the way the bike handles the bike works like a dream in the last section, so I was confident that I’d have made up some time in that last part. I was certainly going to give it a go. I’m still happy to be on the front row, but pole would have been nice.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt