The Camel Yamaha Team began their preparations for the German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring today with riders Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards working hard to adjust their YZR-M1 machines to the tortuous demands of the MotoGP World Championship’s shortest and slowest circuit. The first day of free practice was held in cloudy yet warm conditions of around 20ºC, with the threat of storms hanging ominously over the circuit throughout the day but thankfully not progressing beyond a couple of spells of light rainfall as the riders squeezed every available minute out of the two hour-long sessions.Both Rossi and Edwards admitted running into difficulties as they adjusted the base setting of the bike, which so far hasn’t proven as well suited to this circuit as it has to faster tracks such as Donington, Assen, Mugello and Catalunya in recent weeks. The Italian ran sixth fastest in the morning session, with the American ninth, but they were both unable to match the progress made by their rivals in the afternoon and they slid marginally down the time sheets at the end of the day – Rossi ending up seventh with Edwards in eleventh. Both riders face a crucial day of set-up work tomorrow as they prepare for the tenth round of the season on Sunday.

VALENTINO ROSSI (7th – 1’23.871; 43 laps)
“We knew before we came here that this was not one of my favourite circuits and that it was always going to be a big effort from the first day. Unfortunately that is proving to be the case and I have not got comfortable with the bike or the track today. We are trying a whole ‘sack’ of things to make the bike better but we keep running into problems and haven’t found the best way to work yet. Luckily we still have two hours tomorrow to do this so we hope the weather stays dry because we need all that track time to work on the bike. Anyway I am still confident because Jerry and the engineers have shown in the past few races when I have been injured that they have a great ability to set the bike up using a minimal amount of data. Tomorrow we will have to stay concentrated and see what we can do. It already looks like it will be a tough battle on Sunday but the tough ones are always the most fun!”

COLIN EDWARDS (11th – 1’24.100; 33 laps)
“We’re struggling. The bike feels a bit rough in a few sections and we need to make some drastic changes tomorrow to get it working how we want. The bike and I are not getting along with the circuit at the moment and I’m losing around half a second in the second section alone, which is clearly not good enough. We have to work on that and generally improve the speed through the corner in all the other sections – it’s not carrying enough pace and no matter what I tried it just wasn’t happening today. We know we’ve still got a lot of work to do but that’s what we’re here for and I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”DAVIDE BRIVIO – CAMEL YAMAHA TEAM DIRECTOR“Clearly we still have plenty of work to do tomorrow because we are not where we want to be on the first day. We need to improve the pace of both riders, who are struggling with different kinds of problems. As always they are working together for the good of the team and the engineers will use their feedback to try and come up with some better settings tomorrow. This is a very particular track because it is so tight and twisty, unlike any other circuit in the world, so we have to look for something particular with the setting. That is not as easy as it sounds but we will keep going!”Combined Free Practice Times:

  1. Marco Melandri (ITA) Fortuna Honda, 1’23.145
  2. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda Team, 1’23.486
  3. Loris Capirossi (ITA) Ducati Marlboro Team, 1’23.490
  4. Nicky Hayden (USA) Repsol Honda Team, 1’23.525
  5. Kenny Roberts JR (USA) Team Roberts, 1’23.676
  6. John Hopkins (USA) Rizla Suzuki MotoGP, 1’23.693
  7. VALENTINO ROSSI (ITA) Camel Yamaha Team, 1’23.871
  8. Casey Stoner (AUS) Honda LCR, 1’23.889
  9. Sete Gibernau (SPA) Ducati Marlboro Team, 1’24.022
  10. Makoto Tamada (JPN) Konica Minolta Honda, 1’24.030
  11. COLIN EDWARDS (USA) Camel Yamaha Team, 1’24.100


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