Top six for Spies in scorching hot Spain Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Ben Spies maintained his excellent recent form in today's Catalunya MotoGP race, the Texan producing a strong late attack to claim his third successive top six...
Top six for Spies in scorching hot Spain
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Ben Spies maintained his excellent recent form in today's Catalunya MotoGP race, the Texan producing a strong late attack to claim his third successive top six finish.
Starting from fifth on the grid, Spies found it difficult to find a consistent and fast pace in the opening half of the 25-lap encounter and he dropped down to 10th.
Adapting his style to cope with the lack of grip as track temperatures soared to 49 degrees, Spies was able to up his pace dramatically in the final ten laps.
He passed Marco Melandri on lap 18 for seventh position after Italian duo Andrea Dovizioso and Marco Simoncelli had crashed out of the top six.
Showing his supreme strength once again on worn tyres, Spies was able to lap consistently in the 1.44 bracket and he quickly closed down on Loris Capirossi for sixth.
He swept by the Suzuki rider on lap 23 and then embarked on a hot pursuit of home favourite Alvaro Bautista. But despite a gallant effort to catch the Spaniard, Spies just missed out on fifth by under 0.2s.
Fellow Texan Colin Edwards maintained his record of scoring points in every race so far in 2010. But 11th was little reward for the American's gritty performance.
A sluggish start cost Edwards five places on the opening lap but he fought back superbly and claimed 11th from compatriot Nicky Hayden on lap nine. But just as he prepared to shadow team-mate Spies he ran into front-end grip issues and eventually had to settle for 11th position.
Ben Spies 6th 59-points
"I got an okay start but got shuffled around in the first couple of corners but I'm not really happy with today. We didn't have the grip that the other guys have in the first ten laps and that lost me some places. When everybody had a big drop with their tyre performance and they were sliding and moving around, they were in the same boat as me and I could go through the field. For the last ten laps I was probably the fourth quickest guy on track. But coming from where I was it was the best result I could get. I rode as hard as I could and did everything I could. I made a couple of small mistakes and definitely should have been fifth. I'd have caught Bautista in time to pass him but I took too long to get around Loris. I'm not really satisfied with sixth because a couple of guys crashed out in front of me and that helped make us look a bit better."
Colin Edwards 11th -- 39-points
"That was a tough race. I had big problems all weekend and I tried a completely different set-up this morning. I put some more weight on the front and it seemed to work this morning when the temperature was a bit cooler. At the start of the race it felt good, even though I got an awful start. But I started pushing really hard and was able to get ahead of Nicky but immediately I started having a lot of trouble on the right side of the front tyre. After that it wasn't a whole lot of fun because I couldn't ride the bike how I wanted and kept running wide. I tried carrying less lean angle but nothing I could do was going to help me go any faster. I was riding as hard as I could and finished but 11th is not where I expect to be or where the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team expects to be."
Herve Poncharal -- Team Manager
"We are a little bit disappointed with the race today because it was clear that in the final laps that Ben was very strong as always. He did a race simulation yesterday and was really fast, so we felt quite confident. But he was unable to repeat that performance and had an issue in the first ten laps where he couldn't push at the pace he wanted. But he came back really strong and unfortunately it was just too late to finish fifth. But I'd say in the last ten laps he was easily the fourth fastest rider on track and with a better first half to the race, I think fourth was a possibility. But another top six keeps the momentum going for Ben and he's only ten-points off fourth place in the championship. Colin was the opposite and he had a very strong first ten laps but he was unable to keep his pace. As usual though he never gave up and continued to push and it was a shame because he deserved much better. It has been a hectic period in which the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 has done well in MotoGP, so we hope for a good rest ahead of the Sachsenring and then a big race for Ben and Colin at Laguna Seca."
-source: tech 3