Edwards has struggled to get the most from the Open Yamaha due to a lack of front end feeling and, while he has tried to adapt his riding style to the bike, he is still struggling for comfort on track.
“It’s not like we’ve been in the top ten through testing, this is where we’ve been,” said Edwards after qualifying.” I’m struggling to turn the bike and like I said before the corner is a series of straight lines and not an arc. I’m trying the new style but as everyone knows when you get aggressive and on the edge you do what comes naturally. We did what we did in the test, lap time wise, and the positive is that we’re going a little bit quicker on race tyres.
“My riding style has always been that when I can feel what’s happening with the front, I’ll manage the rear, and make the lap time happen. Now, it’s the opposite. The rear is there and you can feel everything but the front…there’s nothing. You trust that it will be there but when you’re folded over in third gear through those rights the bike doesn’t want to turn, it wants to go straight.”
Edwards wasn’t the only Forward rider struggling to feel the front on Saturday: Team-mate Aleix Espargaro, quickest on Thursday and Friday, lowsided twice in qualifying and will line-up ninth on the grid.
Edwards knows the superior top speed of the Factory class machines will be tough to match in the race, but his focus remains on set-up.
“I don’t know about the race. I just want to get a good start and latch onto the guys in front and see what happens. If we can stay there we might need a tow rope! We’ll see what we can come up with tonight to get it to turn in better. Once I brake and go on the side the bike just wants to go straight.”