The Texan found himself riding a machine that felt so foreign that he struggled to achieve lap times that had come easily only two days earlier at Donington Park. It was only when he resolved a braking issue that he was able speed up and cut through the field.
In the end, he was able to pick up three places and finish fourth, but he felt the motorcycle was better than that today.
“After about ten laps I started getting in the groove, and it was good race,” Edwards said after finishing just off the podium. “The first nine, ten laps I was a bit confused.”
Edwards got away in seventh place, but it wasn’t a fighting seventh. Rather than moving forward, he was simply holding his ground while fighting his M-1.
“I felt like I was going to crash every other corner,” he said, adding that he “couldn’t get the thing turned.”
He felt the breakthrough came about a third of the way into the 30-lap race. That’s when he understood that running the shorter wheelbase, which he’d used during Saturday’s two wet sessions, required a different approach on the brakes. He said he had to brake late and deep and at full lean to keep the front end down to keep weight on the front, “and obviously with the rain, you don’t do that. And the setting of the bike that we had yesterday, you don’t do that.
“I was kind of…still had my head up my ass, pretty much. You can quote me on that. Once I started really figuring it out and getting feel from the front, I thought OK, I just brake deeper, harder, and run it in there as hard as I could. Then the times started coming.”
Edwards passed Rizla Suzuki’s Chris Vermeulen for sixth on the 14th lap, then took Repsol Honda’s Nicky Hayden three laps later. On the following lap he moved by JiR Team Scot MotoGP’s Andrea Dovizioso for fourth. At the time, he was about eight seconds back. He cut the gap to four seconds at the end.
“I can’t blame anybody for it,” he said. “But at the end of the day we learned a good lesson and that is basically we need to make the short bike work in the rain. We need to make it work And basically carry the same type of style from wet to dry instead of completely changing.”