Colin Edwards reckons Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo, Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa are ‘aliens’ after he had to settle for fifth place on the grid for the sixth time in the last seven races in Valencia today.
The Texan, who can claim fifth place in the championship tomorrow if he scores five-points more than Repsol Honda rider Andrea Dovizioso, clocked a best time of 1.33.085 in sunny but blustery conditions this afternoon.
Edwards finished only 0.163s behind reigning world champion and former factory Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi but he was fifth in qualifying for the eighth time in 2009.
The 35-year-old said: “I seem to be pretty much stuck with that fifth place! I know I run number five but it doesn’t mean I have to qualify there every race.
"But as I’ve said before, I’ve got to be pleased to be finishing next best behind those four guys, or should I say aliens.
"They are riding out of this world and to be right behind them means I’m doing the best job I can and that’s about as good as I can hope for at the moment.”
Edwards said he was confident he can snatch fifth overall from Italian rival Dovizioso in tomorrow’s 30-lap race.
British MotoGP winner Dovizioso could only qualify in tenth place and impressive new World Superbike champion Ben Spies outpaced him.
Edwards said: “I’m not sure of got the pace of the pace of the four in front of me in race trim but I wanted to give myself a shot at fifth in the championship and I’ve done that.
"Dovizioso is a few places behind me but I just need to focus on doing my own job.”
Edwards will need more anti-inflammatory tablets tomorrow to ease the pain of a recurring neck injury that he first suffered in a crash during last year’s rain-lashed German GP at the Sachsenring.
He added: “I’m sure my neck won’t be a problem tomorrow. I first hurt it when I crashed in Germany last year and every few months I do something to aggravate it.
"This time I was in the shower reaching for the shampoo and the way I turned my head it just froze me up. It won’t stop me from trying to end a brilliant season on a high.”