Edwards Mid-Grid for Sunday’s Red Bull Indy GP

Henny Ray Abrams | September 13, 2008
INDIANAPOLIS, IN, SEPT 13: Tech 3 Yamaha’s Colin Edwards faces the likelihood of a blinding mist at the start of Sunday’s inaugural Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix after qualifying 11th.

An unforeseen chattering problem cropped up during Saturday qualifying, held under cloudy bright skies on the 2.161-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. Friday’s practice was run in an intermittent, and finally torrential rain, which gave the riders one day each, wet and dry, heading into Sunday’s race.

Edwards said the proof of his discomfort was visible, with the Texan having to use a more physical riding style than usual.

“I always do my fastest laps and my fastest riding when it looks like I’m just taking a Sunday cruise,” Edwards said. “I have always been really smooth, but at the moment I’m having to climb all over the bike to stop it from chattering and that is strange because I haven’t had any chatter all year.

“With a new track we tried a few big changes with the setting, but with the lack of dry track time it hasn’t been easy to get comfortable. It is not through a lack of effort that I’m not as high up the grid as I wanted to be. We have changed everything to try and make it better without much success.”

Edwards aid the morning session “wasn’t terrible and I felt reasonably happy, but the more I pushed this afternoon the worse the problems became. I was struggling to hold a line. If I was going slow I could hold the line, but try telling a racer you’ve got to go slow.

“It is disappointing to have my second home race and not be where I want to be again. On the qualifiers the grip was brilliant, but with the extra grip the more the chatter increased. We’ve got to see what happens tomorrow with the forecasts pretty grim. Hopefully we can race tomorrow whether it is wet or dry. We want to race for the fans who have traveled hundreds of miles to come and see us.”

Henny Ray Abrams | Contributing Editor

Abrams is the longest-serving contributor at Cycle News. Over the course of his 35-some years of writing and shooting photos, he’s covered events from MotoGP to the Motocross World Championship - and everything in between.