American Colin Edwards braved freezing conditions and a broken collarbone for his first podium of the season.
American Colin Edwards secured his first MotoGP podium finish in nearly two years with a heroic ride to third place in a rain-lashed British Grand Prix. The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider only broke his collarbone nine days prior to yesterday’s 20-lap race, but he produced a stunning ride through the pain barrier to take full advantage of mistakes by Jorge Lorenzo and Marco Simoncelli. He mastered treacherous conditions as heavy rain fell throughout the race to register his 12th MotoGP podium and fourth in the British Grand Prix having previously claimed three rostrums at Donington Park.
The 37-year-old, who had a titanium plate and 13 screws inserted in the right collarbone he broke in seven places at the recent Catalunya round, said: “This feels good. I was aggressive in the first couple of laps to hold position and I thought if I can hang in sixth place I was going to be happy with that. I thought let’s finish the race and go home and think about Assen. I was happy to qualify eighth but never in a million years did I think I’d be on the podium just over a week after breaking my collarbone.”
Edwards tore muscles away from his ribcage in the Catalunya crash and said the pain from that injury was more distracting than his collarbone.
“My collarbone has been no problem,” said Edwards. “The muscle that separated from my ribs has been the big problem. But the rain definitely helped because it was a lot less physical than in the dry. I just gritted my teeth and got on with it, just trying to stay smooth and not make any
Multiple riders in the paddock expressed sympathy for Cal Crutchlow, who missed his home GP at Silverstone after breaking his collarbone during qualifying.
mistakes. Conditions were pretty bad and it was a case of working out when and where you could push. Everyone started going down like dominos and I saw P3 on by board and I couldn’t believe it. At that time though there were still eight or nine laps to go and I couldn’t feel my hands or my feet because it was so wet and cold. It was an unbelievable race and to finish on the podium is amazing.”
Edwards also had some words of support for absent teammate, Cal Crutchlow. The British rider face home heartache when a broken left collarbone he suffered in a qualifying crash ruled him out of the Silverstone race. Crutchlow spent a second night in the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford last night having broken his left collarbone in three places.
“It’s a shame because Cal had a good weekend going,” said Edwards. “To break anything at your home GP, even your toe, is a bummer. I broke my collarbone last week so it was like a virus in the team with Cal going down. I feel sorry for him and wish him a quick recovery.”
Stoner said he too was saddened to learn that Crutchlow would miss his home race at Silverstone.
“It was almost a fairytale for him the way it was going, and to end like that is not really fair,” said Stoner. “He’s been riding really well all season and he’s impressed me with his attitude and the way he enjoys racing. This weekend he was definitely one of the faster guys and running at the front a lot easier than some of the others. I had no doubt he would have been on the front two rows. It’s definitely not the best season for injuries but for Cal at his home Grand Prix it couldn’t have gone much worse for him. Best wishes to him and hopefully he’s back at the next one.”
Lorenzo failed to finish a MotoGP race for the first time since the Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island in 2009 after a rare blunder cost him the world championship lead. The factory Yamaha rider was looking to force his way by Repsol Honda rival Andrea Dovizioso when he highsided at the first corner on Lap 9.
Lorenzo: “I feel disappointed because the crash was my own mistake. I think I could have fought for the victory.”
Unable to continue with his YZR-M1 badly damaged, the reigning world champion slipped 18-points behind Stoner in the title chase.
“I had a good feeling in the rain and I was fast in the morning warm-up,” Lorenzo said. “But on the warm-up lap for the race I felt the bike wasn’t as stable on the wet patches compared to the Hondas, so in the race I was struggling a lot to follow them. But little by little I found my real pace and I was convinced that if I could overtake Andrea I could catch Stoner. But maybe I had to wait a little longer and be more patient because the track conditions were really bad. I was impatient and I entered too fast in this corner. Casey was starting to go away because I couldn’t pass Andrea who wasn’t so quick. I tried to overtake him but I couldn’t, then Stoner went away and I wanted to get ahead of Dovi. I feel disappointed because the crash was my own mistake. I think I could have fought for the victory with Casey. I wasn’t worried that (Marco) Simoncelli was catching me; I was worried because Casey was going if I didn’t overtake Andrea, and then I crashed.”