After two days of private testing at the Jerez circuit, the experienced Texan spoke to motogp.com about his first impressions of the CRT machine, one of the new generation of MotoGP bikes that will join the grid in 2012. This was Edwards' first ride on the BMW-Suter after missing the post- Valencia Official Test while recovering from shoulder surgery.
The veteran expected that there would be work to do before next season, though his first impression of the bike was higher than he originally expected. ?Overall, it is better than I thought it would be, the potential is there. I think we are at about 65 percent right now,? he said.
The electronics package the team will use is new to MotoGP, and Edwards said the remaining 35 percent of bike development will come from improvements with those electronics. ?The chassis is set up, but the main thing is the electronics and getting the whole package to come together. With the electronics, every time we make a little change and make it better, everything just gets a little smoother and easier.?
Speaking further of the overall impression of the new bike, the Texan said: ?The bike reminds me a lot of 2003 when I went to Aprilia. It's got a screamer engine, lots of torque, somebody built the chassis, someone put an engine it, and it came a long way through the year. It was one of the first bikes with ride by wire and all the electronics. It reminds me a lot of that. But I know what I need, I know what I am looking for, I know what want, I know how to make the bike go faster, so the main thing now is just don?t lose focus and keep going down the right path.?
The team spent most of the two days on Bridgestones from 2011, though they did get a chance to test a new rear tire, which created challenges but Edwards is sure are fixable. ?We got a little more chatter...once we get the electronics fixed I know that will go away, I am sure it will.?
As for the bike?s lap times, of which the unofficial best time on Wednesday was a 1'43.9 and Thursday was a 1?42.6 (as compared to Edwards? best time of 1?40.188 in the Spanish GP at Jerez in March), Edwards was unconcerned. ?I came here and I would have been happy with just yesterday's times, being injured and all, but I did a ?42.6 today, which is a little better than a second faster. I?m reasonably happy with that.?
The test was also the first time the American worked with his new crew chief for 2012, Kor Veldman. ?I've never worked with him before, but he has a lot of knowledge and experience and we get along great. Just spending a couple days with me I can see he knows what he is talking about, and that?s a plus, you know, when you can find someone you can communicate with and get things done. So I'm really happy with him.?
Two days of putting the bike through its paces was enough to learn what the team needs to do next according to the veteran. ?We didn't set the world on fire, but like I said we are at 65 percent, we have to work to find the rest of it,? he said.