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Author: Camel Yamaha Press Release
Posted on: Saturday, May 20 2006

The session took place in dry conditions with ambient temperatures reaching 18ºC after the sunshine finally overpowered the thick black clouds that hovered over the Le Mans circuit and caused the third free practice session to be held in wet conditions during the morning.

The improved weather allowed Valentino Rossi to continue the evaluation of Yamaha’s latest chassis, with both of his YZR-M1 machines fitted with the updated specification following positive initial results yesterday. Edwards continued working on the standard version, with similar updates planned for the American at the next round in Italy, and again lapped consistently as one of the fastest riders throughout the session. After setting the pace in yesterday’s dry free practice sessions, both Rossi and Edwards have found a good race set-up for their machines but they were unable to turn their pace into a top grid position after struggling to use their qualifying tyres to full potential in the late push for times.

VALENTINO ROSSI (7th; 1’34.840, 28 laps)

“Today I am happy because we worked in the right way and found a good race setting for the bike. When we used the very soft tyre at the end of the session we again found some vibration problems caused by the extra grip but it’s not such a problem on the race tyres. Anyway, looking at the qualifying results from the last few rounds the third row is an improvement and I think there is the possibility of a good result tomorrow. Myself and Colin have been at the top through all the practice on race tyres so we know we have a good pace compared to the other riders. To be honest I expected a better position this afternoon so I am a little disappointed but it is not a disaster. Now we wait to see what the weather does tomorrow, hope for a dry race and then try to turn around our recent bad luck in the race.”

COLIN EDWARDS (9th; 1’34.970, 28 laps)

“The track was a little slippery today, I guess after the rain this morning, and I didn’t have the same level of grip on the front tyre. I wasn’t as comfortable but we did a good job on the race tyres and my pace is decent. I think there’s only three of us lapping in the 1’35s on race tyres so we’ve got every chance to do something in the race – it’s just a shame about the chatter on the qualifying tyres because we could have been much further forward on the grid. I did four or five laps trying to break the 1’35 mark and eventually hit 1’34.9 on the last one but there was no way to go any faster. All things considered the third row isn’t bad – there are a few guys who will go backwards tomorrow and a few others who will be tough to get past but, as I said before, we have the pace. Now it’s a case of holding that throttle open longer than anyone else into turn one and seeing where we can get from there.”


“Unfortunately we missed out a little on the qualifying tyres because we couldn’t use them properly but we’re not too worried. On the whole the two days of practice have been very good for both riders and they both have good race pace. The only concern now is that they both have a good start in the race. We were able to set-up the new chassis for Valentino but also the older bike is working very well for Colin. Tomorrow is a good opportunity to get more information and confirm our direction with development but of course we also need points. Our aim for tomorrow is to close the gap between us and the championship leaders.”

1.Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda Team, 1’33.990
2.Shinya Nakano (JPN) Kawasaki Racing Team, 1’34.201
3.John Hopkins (USA) Team Suzuki MotoGP, 1’34.636

4.Randy de Puniet (FRA) Kawasaki Racing Team, 1’34.780
5.Marco Melandri (ITA) Fortuna Honda, 1’34.795
6.Loris Capirossi (ITA) Ducati Marlboro Team,1’34.802

7.VALENTINO ROSSI (ITA) Camel Yamaha Team, 1’34.840
8.Sete Gibernau (SPA) Ducati Marlboro Team, 1’34.870
9.COLIN EDWARDS (USA) Camel Yamaha Team, 1’34.970

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