Colin Edwards was pleased to return to the top five with his most competitive ride of the year in the Japanese Grand Prix, but admitted he was also frustrated that the leaders finished nearly half a minute ahead.
After a run of frustrating races, Edwards returned to form at Motegi, taking fifth place following a battle with Gresini Honda's Marco Simoncelli. However the 27-second gap to winner Casey Stoner tempered Edwards' satisfaction at the result.
"In terms of the result I'm really happy because it is my first top six finish of the year and I think it was deserved after all the hard work the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team and me have been putting in to improve our results," he said. "And it is always good to get a result in Japan with the race being so important for Yamaha and the Tech 3 team.
"I rode good all weekend and was only four tenths off pole, but what I'm a little disappointed about is that I'm 27 seconds behind the winner. That's a big chunk of time and I'm riding as hard as I can.
"I feel comfortable and I feel good on the bike now we improved the setting but I guess we just have to shoot for being top non-factory rider."
Edwards recently re-signed with Tech 3 for a fourth season, and will next year be partnered by Superbike convert Cal Crutchlow, with his current teammate Ben Spies off to replace Valentino Rossi in the factory Yamaha team. Team boss Herve Poncharal was delighted by Edwards' return to competitiveness.
"Colin had by far his best result of the season and this weekend he has been back to the outstanding form he showed all last season," said the Frenchman. "He's been working hard with his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 crew for several races now to improve and this weekend that effort paid off."