Tech 3 Riders Score Points Despite Injury
The Tech 3 Yamaha MotoGP riders of Colin Edwards and Cal Crutchlow are proving to be some of the toughest riders on the MotoGP grid. Both riders have recently broken their collarbones and returned for the next race. First Edwards went down in practice at Catalunya and the next weekend Crutchlow went down in practice for his home GP in Silverstone. Both riders had surgery soon after their incidents and were back out on the track the following race.
Edwards was back on the bike just seven days later at Silverstone and scored one of the best finishes of his long MotoGP career finishing in third place. Crutchlow's injury at Silverstone was worse than Edwards but luckily he got an extra week of healing due to an off weekend prior to Assen. Both riders were back this past weekend at Assen scoring valuable championship points. Crutchlow impressed everyone in qualifying barely missing a front row position to start the race in 6th with teammate Colin qualifying on the same row in 8th.
Crutchlow got a great start in the race ending the first lap in 4th in hot pursuit of Casey Stoner and Andrea Dovizioso. Riding through a barrier of pain the British rider continued to push hard until his front tire started losing grip on lap 5. Crutchlow continued to push as hard as his aching collarbone and sliding front tire would allow remaining in the top six until lap 11 when the tire issue worsened and was forced to pit for a new front tire on lap 13. Crutchlow rejoined and got into a rhythm of fast and consistent laps for the remainder of the race, finishing 14th and scoring 2 championship points.
Like Crutchlow and other riders, Edwards also had issues with his Bridgestone front tire during the race at Assen. Colin traded positions with fellow American Nicky Hayden throughout the race. The pair switched back and forth between 6th and 7th before moving up a position on lap 11 when Crutchlow’s tire problem worsened. Edwards held 5th until he encountered an arm pump issue and on lap 17 was unable to hold off Hayden any longer. Still injured from his crash at Catalunya, Edward’s lack of upper body strength caused arm pump issues that hampered his pace in the losing stages of the race. Despite tire and injury the 37 year old Texan still finished 7th behind Championship front-runner Jorge Lorenzo.
With his excellent speed in the opening laps at Assen Crutchlow proved he has the speed to run with the top MotoGP riders and Edwards further solidified his reputation as a consistent top ten finisher despite injury. Both riders left Assen scoring championship points without further injury and happy for fellow Yamaha rider Ben Spies' first MotoGP win. The riders have just a few days break before returning to the track at Mugello this coming weekend.