Tech 3 celebrates best race of '09

Tech 3 Yamaha boss Herve Poncharal hailed this weekend's Dutch TT at Assen as 'easily the best race of the season' for his team after Colin Edwards finished fourth and team-mate James Toseland sixth

Tech 3 celebrates best race of '09

The satellite squad's challenge was aided by the attention paid to it by the Yamaha factory - indeed factory Yamaha team director Masahiko Nakajima spent the whole event in the Tech 3 garage. Edwards used a longer wheelbase M1 while Toseland ran with a new clutch set-up.

The Texan believes that the revamped bike assisted him in producing perhaps his performance of the season: "Finally I got a decent start and the longer wheelbase bike helped me get off the line.

"When [Andrea] Dovizioso came by I was biting my teeth to stay with him and keep the pressure on. But then I saw him crash in front of me and just before that I'd had a moment with the right side of the front," he added. "I'd done 32 laps on that tyre yesterday but coming in and out of the pits all of the time it's hard to get an accurate assessment of what's going to happen.

"I just held station after that because I could see I wasn't catching [Casey] Stoner and I was holding [Chris] Vermeulen off comfortably."

Edwards added that because of the quality of the riders in the factory squads it's become difficult to pick up podiums in 2009, though he believed his performance in Assen was worthy of one.

"My target was just to ride without making any mistakes and keep the momentum going," he said. "I rode my hardest but this year in MotoGP it is so hard just to get a podium. The field is so strong now and it's the hardest year I've ever had in MotoGP. I've ridden nowhere near as hard as that in the past and been on the podium."

Toseland was relieved to have secured his equal best result in his MotoGP career after coming out on top of a huge midfield battle.

"I was a bit nervous on the start because I'd no experience with a new clutch set-up we were running," he said. "I did a pretty good start but still lost three or four places. I knew I'd got a pretty good race set-up so just tried to stay calm and in the first couple of laps I took advantage of that to get into the top ten.

"It was an incredible battle for most of the race and I knew I wasn't much stronger than the rest and I knew if I got to the front that it wasn't going to be a case of me pulling away.

"I knew once I was at the front of the bunch that it would be a case of protecting it. That's exactly what I did but it was nearly all spoiled on the last lap. I was getting ready to pass Mika at the last corner when Elias came under me at Turn 10. That let Loris through too and I'd gone from sixth to ninth!

"It was so chaotic I didn't even see Kallio crash and I thought when Elias dived under Loris at the last chicane that they might run off. Fortunately for me they did and I took advantage of it, and leading that group for so long I think I deserved sixth."

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