Fast start for Edwards and Spies on home soil Ben Spies made a blistering start to his home race at Laguna Seca this afternoon, the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider ending an opening practice session run in sunny conditions with the fifth...
Fast start for Edwards and Spies on home soil
Ben Spies made a blistering start to his home race at Laguna Seca this afternoon, the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider ending an opening practice session run in sunny conditions with the fifth quickest time.
Aided by an upgraded YZR-M1 engine specification delivered by Yamaha for his all-important home race at the breathtaking California circuit, which features the incomparable and famous Corkscrew section, Spies was less than one-tenth-of-a-second away from fourth position.
Laguna Seca is the first race 2010 where Spies has previously raced in MotoGP and he put his vast track knowledge to good use immediately, the 26-year-old quickly establishing himself in the top ten.
Spies, who is running a special livery for his home race featuring the Texas state flag, led home a strong American contingent while also finishing fastest non-factory rider as he edged out reigning world champion Valentino Rossi by 0.020s.
Spies is confident that planned overnight set-up changes to improve the stability of his YZR-M1 machine to cope with Laguna Seca's bumpy surface will allow him to challenge for a top grid position in tomorrow's qualifying session ahead of the ninth round of the 2010 MotoGP world championship.
It was a fruitful session for Colin Edwards too, the 36-year-old instantly taking advantage of the upgraded engine specification to put himself in the top five for much of the session.
Edwards ran several laps on both soft and hard front and rear Bridgestone options in preparation for Sunday's 32-lap race.
And he was immediately able to lap much quicker using the hard front option, the significantly improved stability helping Edwards secure eighth position with a best time of 1.22.971.
Ben Spies 5th 1.22.640 -- 33 laps
"It is funny but I know this track so well, yet having not been here for a while it took me a bit of time to remember it. I'm pretty happy to be in the top five after the first session and I'm also pleased with the lap times by the end. Coming home and being in front of my home crowd, I can't be disappointed with my position after the first day. I'm sure we can make the bike a lot better because I had a couple of small issues that are easy to fix. I want the bike to absorb the bumps a little better but it is nothing that is really holding me back too much. We got an upgrade and I'm grateful to Yamaha for that and I'm definitely in the ballpark for the rest of the weekend. I need a few tenths per lap but I think I can be much closer to the front tomorrow. At the end I put in a string of laps that weren't super-fast, but I was really consistent and I'm happy with that."
Colin Edwards 8th 1.22.971 -- 29 laps
"I'm really happy to be back on home soil and racing in front of the American fans and I'm also happy because the practice session went pretty good. The track felt the cleanest it has ever done on the first day and I was happy with the bike to show more of my true potential. I started on the soft front and rear tyres and I wasn't able to turn as good as I wanted but right at the end we switched to the hard options and I went almost half-a-second faster. I've already made my mind up to use the hard front for the race and I'm sure with some more changes we'll be able to get some more feeling. But the hard tyre gives me more confidence. I'm happier with the performance of the bike too and I want to say a big thanks to Yamaha for giving me their support as always. The improved specification just makes it feel easier and more comfortable to do the lap time and I'm confident of a strong weekend."
-source: tech 3