Colin Edwards has heaped praise on Yamaha after his impressive start to the 2010 MotoGP world championship testing campaign.
The Texan has finished in the top five in both Sepang tests in Malaysia last month and the double World Superbike champion has expressed his delight at the improvements on the new Yamaha YZR-M1 machine.
Even though Yamaha dominated in 2008 and ’09 with Italian Valentino Rossi, the Japanese factory has improved the performance of its in-line four-cylinder long life motor.
And handling improvements have come from a revised chassis and swingarm, while a new electronics package has also been a good step in the right direction, according to Rossi and Edwards.
Edwards told MCN: “Even though Yamaha kicked ass last year and they had the best bike on the grid, they have been working hard in a few different areas and they’ve made improvements for my riding style. Hats off to them.
"They have not reinvented the wheel because I can remember coming to Sepang before and having a completely new bike with new engine and new chassis and new everything. That cost a lot of money. When you talk about what they’ve brought new, it’s not that much but all of it is in the right area. As long as you spend the money where you need to it works out.”
Edwards said the biggest area of improvement was with the new YZR-M1 engine, which must have the durability now to last for three races under new engine restrictions for 2010 limiting a rider to just six engines for the entire campaign.
Yamaha suffered more than any other manufacturer in 2009 when engine restrictions came in at Brno that saw teams restricted to using five engines for the final seven races.
To gain durability, Yamaha surrendered vital horsepower. But Edwards said the engine on his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine so far in 2010 was vastly improved.
He added: “The engine was s**t slow last year. From Brno onwards James (Toseland) and I were the slowest speeds everywhere.
"I was worried and I even sent (Ben) Spies a text after Brno telling him to think really hard before he came over here because the bike was a nail. But thankfully not only is it more reliable but it is a hell of a lot faster and Yamaha have been working their ass off.”