Spies and Edwards tackle new Motorland Aragon track The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team successfully negotiated new territory today with Ben Spies and Colin Edwards tackling the state-of-art Motorland Aragon track in Spain for the first time in ...
Spies and Edwards tackle new Motorland Aragon track
The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team successfully negotiated new territory today with Ben Spies and Colin Edwards tackling the state-of-art Motorland Aragon track in Spain for the first time in impressive fashion.
The American pairing were instantly impressed with the challenging layout, the 5.078km circuit a blend of blind entry corners, hard braking sections and exciting undulation changes. With Friday morning practice restored to the schedule for the first time since 2008, Spies and Edwards immediately set about tweaking the set-up of their Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machines to suit the new track in an opening 45-minute session run in cool but dry conditions.
Edwards and Spies were ninth and 10th respectively this morning but were presented with a completely different task this afternoon as heavy rain fell just as second practice was due to get underway. The downpour presented the Texan duo with the perfect opportunity to work on wet weather settings with forecasts predicting further rain for tomorrow.
Spies in particular was in eye-catching form in the rain, the 26-year-old making a mockery of his lack of MotoGP experience in wet conditions to produce a confident and assured display. He clocked a best time of 2.03.874 to finish in eighth position this afternoon, Spies' confidence in the wet conditions soaring as he finished less than a second off the top four. Today's performance boosted Spies' confidence as he looks to extend his fantastic run of form that has seen him finish top rookie and top non-fa ctory in the last four races. Edwards had a positive opening day too at the start of another landmark weekend for the 36-year-old. The 23-lap race will be his 100th premier class start for Yamaha. Only Valentino Rossi, Carlos Checa and Norick Abe have made more MotoGP appearances for Yamaha than Edwards. Edwards finished 0.114s clear of Spies in this morning's dry session and he was delighted with his progress in the rain later, a best lap of 2.04.868 putting him 11th on the timesheets.
Colin Edwards - Position: 9thTime: 1'52.027 Laps: 31
"I love the circuit. I'm not sure what I expected but I hoped somebody would have designed something good and that's obviously what happened. It is a lot of fun to ride and there are a few points that remind me of other tracks. I guess it feels quite similar to Sepang but there's the reverse Corkscrew, which is pretty cool. Some of the fast corners are a bit like Mugello and overall it is a cool track. It's not really demanding and it really flows and there are no real slow parts. The important thing is the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1 likes the track too. The bike felt good this morning in the dry and it was turning awesome. There's not a lot of tight and twisty stuff but when I need that turning, the bike is delivering. And I felt good in the rain this afternoon too. It felt like a long time since we've hammered it in the wet but the grip for a new track is really good. I can't complain about that because sometimes on a new track you get a bit of dirt and dust coming out on top of the surface, but it felt great. I'm happy also to go back to Friday morning practice. I like that format better even if we aren't getting any extra track time. You can make bigger changes between sessions and it saves on hanging around with nothing to do until the afternoon!"
Ben Spies - Position: 10th Time: 1'52.141 Laps: 36
"I really like the track. It has got some good elevation changes that make it pretty cool and the first couple of corners remind me of Istanbul Park on the video game. You know it is a fun track when you want to stay out and ride and that's how I felt today. I was pleased with progress in the dry this morning and I'm really happy with how it went in the rain. I just stayed out to get a feeling for the bike in the wet conditions. In Germany earlier in the season I did about three laps in the wet and that's all my MotoGP experience in the wet since Indianapolis in 2008. It was a bit of an eye opener and it took me a while to get up to speed. But once I got comfortable I felt good. And if we do have to ride in the rain now I'm confident that we're not miles off. The limits are super high in the rain and my lap times were coming down all sessio n, so now I've got my head wrapped around what this bike and tyres can do in the wet, hopefully we can step up again next time."
-source: tech 3