Sepang MotoGP: Colin Edwards takes best grid slot since 2008

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Colin Edwards proved he’s not getting any slower with age as he stormed to his best MotoGP qualifying result since 2008 at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia today.

The popular Texan set a best time of 2.02.010 to finish just 0.344s off the front row to secure his best grid position since the Valencia round three years ago.

Edwards has been consistently fast all weekend and he finished practice in seventh position on board the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1 machine.

The 37-year-old was only beaten by Repsol Honda trio Dani Pedrosa, Casey Stoner and Andrea Dovizioso and he was the only rider not on an RC212V machine to finish in the top five.

And Edwards at least gave Yamaha something to cheer on another miserable weekend for the Japanese factory.

Jorge Lorenzo is out of action after he badly damaged the ring finger on his left hand during the warm-up session for last Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island.

And factory team-mate Ben Spies is having a nightmare weekend too. The Texan is still battered and bruised after his Phillip Island qualifying crash and two more high-speed falls today only added to his considerable pain and discomfort.

Edwards joked to MCN that he hadn’t put his Monster Tech 3 stickers on Lorenzo’s factory YZR-M1 and he said: “If I did that I’d probably be slower!”

Edwards though was ecstatic with his fourth place and he said: “I'm ecstatic with that result because to get a fourth place in any session against this level of competition is a pretty big achievement. I said yesterday that we rolled the bike out of the crate hot and today I felt even more confident.

"Usually I have a really good couple of tests in February and then come back for the race and I have an awful time. But with this year's chassis I'm really enjoying this track.

"We've barely moved away from the setting we left the second test with in February and the bike feels awesome. I'm pushing hard but I don't feel like I'm right on the limit like I have in some races and it relatively easy

" I can ride smooth and the bike is turning really well. We'd like more traction, but in this heat and humidity the grip is always going to be the thing that's missing. I'm not far off the front row but I didn't leave anything out there.

"The lap I did my best time on, I took a couple of risks, so I couldn't have done any better. Fourth is my best qualifying result since Valencia in 2008. That seems like a long, long time ago, so it would be great to follow today up with a top five result tomorrow and send my awesome Monster Yamaha Tech 3 crew home happy."

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt