MONDAY 11TH JULY 2005
Colin Edwards joined a very limited list of riders who have beaten Valentino Rossi as a MotoGP team-mate when he clinched a tense second place ahead of the Italian, and behind Nicky Hayden, in his home US Grand Prix at Laguna Seca on Sunday.
Edwards was forced to fight his way through the pack to claim the emotional home podium, after slipping from fifth to eighth following a scary first-corner clash.
"I made another bad start and ended up with two riders making a sandwich of me into turn one," said Edwards afterwards. "They had my handlebars on each side and just carried me into the corner so I thought it was going to end in a big mess."
However, Edwards soon charged forward - passing Sete Gibernau, John Hopkins, Troy Bayliss and Max Biaggi - to hold third place, behind Rossi and Hayden, by lap 4 of 32.
The #5 then slowly but surely reeled in the six-times world champion and, to the surprise of some, launched an inch-perfect pass on the #46 to take second into the famous Corkscrew corner at the halfway point of the race.
"Once I got clear of the group I got my head down and pushed as hard as I could to pass Valentino," recalled the former World Superbike champion. "At that point I still had something left to try and catch Nicky but every time I closed the gap he responded, so hats off to him."
Colin had briefly closed down the two-second gap to Hayden, but his previous efforts - which had seen him set what would be the fastest lap of the race - had taken their toll on his tyres, and Edwards began to fall back into the clutches of Rossi as the final lap began.
"When the tyres went off I was just hanging on to finish the race. I knew I had an advantage of around two seconds over Valentino, but on the last lap I looked at my board and it said 0.6," he explained.
"I guessed it must be a mistake, but I then looked over my shoulder in turn two and he was right there! I thought 'Oh no, not on the last lap, dash for cash, come on let's go!' said Edwards. "So I did everything I could in the last lap to get second. I'm just glad to be here. Congratulations to Nicky, he had an awesome weekend. He was on it all weekend."
Edwards, U.S.MotoGP, 2005