Edwards delivered a determined ride throughout the 30-lap encounter, the American shrugging off the lingering effects of a nasty sore throat to finish in a hard fought 10th place, locking into a captivating four-rider battle for seventh that included Alvaro Bautista, Valentino Rossi and compatriot Nicky Hayden, who are all riding full factory machinery.
With four laps remaining, Edwards had to abandon his pursuit of the trio in front when he encountered a rear grip problem in the left-hand corners. The Texan was still satisfied having set a personal best race time at the Sachsenring. He is now confident and looking forward to competing for a top six finish in his crucial home round at the Laguna Seca in California next weekend.
Crutchlow, meanwhile, rode with typical aggression producing a fantastic ride under intense pressure to keep Randy de Puniet, Hector Barbera and fellow MotoGP rookie Karel Abraham at bay in 11th position. Battling a lack of front-end feel that Crutchlow had worked tirelessly to improve over the course of the weekend, the British rider was unable to keep his line entering turn 3 on lap 26 and he dropped back to 14th place. The 25-year-old quickly got back into his rhythm, but despite launching a concerted effort to reclaim the lost places, he finished less than 0.5s away from 11th.
?That was a difficult race because it was one of those where you can see a few places up for grabs in front of you but you can’t do anything to try move forward. I was with Valentino, Nicky and Alvaro for pretty much the whole race, but it didn’t matter what I did or tried, I couldn’t get close enough to try and pass them. One tenth around this track feels like a million because it is so short, but it felt like I was on a bungee rope the whole time. Each time we started going through the series of lefts from Turn 4 onwards, they just seem to have more traction than me. They’d pull a few bike lengths on me but then I’d gain it all back in the hard braking for turn 12 at the bottom of the hill and hard braking for the last corner. My bike was really stable on the brakes but the bike lengths I’d catch I’d lose again on the next lap and the process would start all over again. With a few laps to go, I was in turn 2, off throttle and the rear came round. From that point on I had less grip and a bit of vibration and I couldn’t stay with them. I was making more mistakes trying to keep their pace. So I just took 10th place, which is not where I want to finish, but I’ve never gone great at this track and I’ve gone faster than I’ve ever run here. Usually it’s a disaster here, so I’m actually happy with my race and going to Laguna Seca now to race in front of my home fans, I feel really good and confident.?
?Obviously, I can’t be happy to have finished 14th because I believe I should be fighting inside the top ten. But taking the positives out of a difficult race, I was able to fight for the whole race with riders that are a lot more experienced than me, and who have much more knowledge of this track. I really wanted to finish 11th but when I ran wide with a few laps remaining, it was always going to be an uphill battle to get back three places on a track like this that is tight and twisty. But I didn’t give up and I pushed as hard as I could right to the end and nearly recovered a couple of places. I just didn’t have enough grip from the front or the rear and it was difficult. I didn’t feel I could push any harder and it strange because we made a lot of big changes to the bike this weekend without ever really finding an improvement. We’ve learned a few things that will help in the future and now I’m looking forward to getting to Laguna Seca where I’ll be aiming to get back inside the top ten.?
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team press release