Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team begin 2010 preparations
Less than 24 hours after the conclusion to a successful 2009 MotoGP world championship campaign, the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team was back in action at the Valencia circuit today to begin preparations for next season.
With track action not commencing until 1pm, this morning gave the team chance to welcome new rider Ben Spies, who will partner fellow Texan Colin Edwards in 2010. It was also an opportunity for his mechanics to acquaint themselves with new crew chief Tom Houseworth, who has been a fundamental part of Spies' successful career to date.
Spies raced to a brilliant seventh place on his Yamaha debut yesterday and his impressive pace cont inued in sunny but blustery conditions today.
For Spies, this afternoon's four-hour session was all about continuing to familiarise himself with Yamaha's YZR-M1 machine. The World Superbike champion opted to work more on refining his own riding style than making alterations to the set-up of his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine.
The 25-year-old completed 50 laps with a best time of 1.33.496 making it a positive and productive first day with Tech 3. His time was the sixth quickest today and only 0.8s away from fastest rider Casey Stoner and he knocked a massive 0.6s off his best time posted in yesterday's race.
Fresh from a brilliant fourth place in yesterday's 30-lap Valencia MotoGP race, which secured fifth overall in the final rankings, Edwards completed a short stint of 35 laps while experimenting with wheelbase and front-end settings on his YZR-M1.
Ben Spies - Position: 6th Time: 1'33.496 Laps: 50
"I am really happy to finally make my debut for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team. They are a great team and it feels good to finally get to work with them. Today I was obviously on a different bike but with the same setting that I raced on and it felt good. I improved on my qualifying time so it was a positive and productive day. I really just focused on doing a couple of things different with my style and in the last two sessions I tried to do some things very different and it worked. I was slowly able to chip away at the lap times, so it is encouraging that I'm getting faster and more comfortable without even making any changes to the set-up of the bike. We'll make some changes to the bike tomorrow, more for me to see what I can feel, than looking for big improvements."
Colin Edwards - Position: 12th Time: 1'33.929 Laps: 35
"First of all I want to welcome Ben to the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team, or should that be Team Texas. He's joined a fantastic squad and we already love him here because his brilliant Yamaha debut in the race helped me get fifth in the world championship. Personally I'm really excited about working with him in 2010 because he's a talented rider, and I'm sure we'll be motivating each other a lot. I didn't too many laps today and all I did was work on the wheelbase and some different front-end geometry. The bike felt good and we definitely learned a couple of things by making the bike longer. I've got a couple of other things to check on the bike tomorrow and then it will off for a hard earned winter break."
-credit: tech 3