Yamaha Aragon GP qualifying report

Fiat Yamaha press release

Spies Secures Front Row in Aragon

Ben Spies, Yamaha Factory Racing
Ben Spies, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Yamaha Motor Racing

Yamaha Factory Racing rider Ben Spies put in a strong performance in qualifying today for the Grand Prix of Aragon to deliver third on the grid and a front row start for tomorrow’s race. Spies has improved consistently over the weekend, coinciding with an increase in grip level on the Spanish circuit. A small crash in the extended final practice this morning resulted in no injuries, the Texan finishing in sixth place 1.104 seconds from first. A set up change mid-qualifying brought another step, enabling him to deliver third place and close the gap to pole to 0.704 seconds. Reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo left his fastest times to later in the session, battling a lack of rear grip to deliver fourth place for tomorrow’s race, 0.819 seconds from Championship rival Casey Stoner on pole. The Mallorcan rider was less then happy with the final result and will continue to work overnight with his crew to make another step for morning warm up.

Ben Spies

Position 3rd - Time 1.49.155 - Laps 24
“The whole weekend has been pretty good for me, I’m pretty happy with it. We struggled a little bit this morning but the bike’s working really well. We looked over a bit of data and tried to find the best compromise. We found it with 30 minutes to go in qualifying and with the race tyres we were about third or fourth quickest. When we put the softer tyres on we were able to go quicker and get on the front row. The crew has done an amazing job to get the bike where it is, we’re just lacking a bit of speed from the front two guys. We’re going to try and challenge for the podium tomorrow.”

Jorge Lorenzo

Position 4th - Time 1.49.270 - Laps 21
“We struggled here last year and we are here struggling again this year, maybe even more. We have many problems with rear grip; we are not getting enough traction to be really fast. Tomorrow I think the maximum we can get is third place on the podium unless something very strange happens so that is the goal we have. The long straight is not the best for us but in the corners we are also a bit slower than the others so we must find something.”

Wilco Zeelenberg - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager

“We’re still struggling for grip so fourth place is not so bad, it’s far from good though! With the soft tyre we can do a decent lap time, with the hard race tyre we struggle even more though so for sure we need to try and find something for tomorrow morning. We will go over the data from today and see what we can come up with to try in warm up.”

Massimo Meregalli - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director

“I think that Ben and the track are working in the same direction, they both improved grip over the day. We were struggling this morning but as the track has improved it has allowed Ben to improve as well. To start from the first row is a good advantage, especially in a circuit like this with its layout. We have to work a bit again to try and get closer but from yesterday to now we’ve made good steps. We are quite positive about the race tomorrow. The temperature will be less which may have an effect, we’ll have to wait and see. Jorge also made some improvements but is still looking for some more grip with his set up. His crew are working hard and we are confident they will make another step before the race.”

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Series MOTOGP
Tags aragon, lorenzo, spies, yamaha