Tech 3 rues 'big missed opportunity'
Tech 3 Yamaha boss Herve Poncharal believes his squad missed a big opportunity to get a great result at Le Mans.
On the weekend that Tech 3 celebrated its 20th anniversary at its home track, Colin Edwards and James Toseland finished seventh and ninth. But Edwards was the fastest rider on track for much of the second half of the race, as he recovered from a poor performance in the wet opening stages that had seen him fall from sixth on the grid to 16th place.
"We have to think that we missed something big," said Poncharal. "We'd said that top five would be a dream but we could see from Colin's brilliant pace in the dry that had he started better when it was wet he could have had another podium in Le Mans.
"Colin struggled with some issues in the wet but as soon as he switched to the dry bike he was the fastest rider on track at some points and for sure a top three was a possibility. It's a pity for him but he showed his potential in the dry."
Edwards was similarly frustrated.
"I'm really disappointed because it was definitely a missed opportunity today for a podium," said the American. "In the first part of the race on the wet tyres I just couldn't get the bike to turn.
"I'd lost so many places I was nearly at the back and I just wasn't comfortable. The bike was just sitting on the rear and I had no weight on the front, so I couldn't get into the corner.
"To only finish seventh is a bit frustrating when you look at my times in the dry. At the end of the day I rode a good second half of the race. But the first half wasn't great and that cost me."
Poncharal added that Toseland's ninth place was an encouraging result after the Briton's difficult start to the season.
"I'm really happy with James," said the Frenchman. "The whole weekend he has shown a big improvement compared to the first three races and it was by far the best race of the season for him.
"We knew he wasn't going to recover from the problems of the winter so quickly, but step-by-step he is showing his true potential.