Australian GP: Tech 3 race report

Super Spies claims top rookie award in Australia Ben Spies set another personal milestone in his stunning 2010 MotoGP world championship campaign today, the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider's hard fought fifth place in the Australian Grand Prix...

Super Spies claims top rookie award in Australia

Ben Spies set another personal milestone in his stunning 2010 MotoGP world championship campaign today, the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider's hard fought fifth place in the Australian Grand Prix securing him the coveted Rookie of the Year award.

After a weekend of typically unpredictable conditions at Phillip Island, today's 27-lap race started under sunny skies with temperatures hitting a weekend high of 15 degrees. Spies made a flying start from the front row of the grid but slipped back to sixth after nearly touching new world champion Jorge Lorenzo as the field jostled for position at turn two. The 26-year-old was back in the hunt for his third podium by lap five, Spies executing thrilling overtakes to move by fellow American Nicky Hayden and Marco Simoncelli. But a small mistake under heavy braking for the perilously fast first turn dropped Spies back to sixth on lap eight. He quickly regained his composure but was unable to restart his rostrum challenge with Hayden and Valentino Rossi pulling clear. Spies had a determined Simoncelli to occupy his mind though, the Italian seizing fifth on lap 19. Content to shadow Simoncelli, Spies quickly realised he could lap much faster and claimed back fifth on lap 23. Displaying his expertise on worn tyres, a magnificent late attack broke Simoncelli's resolve to ensure Spies lifted the Rookie of the Year title with two races remaining. And his latest top six result means he will also finish top non-factory rider in 2010.

Colin Edwards got his bid for a top ten world championship finish back o n track today, the experienced Texan claiming seventh. Edwards was hopeful of fighting for a top six finish but he spent the majority of the race adapting his riding style to counter a small rear grip issue. With just two races remaining at Estoril and Valencia, Edwards is just three-points away from an overall top ten finish.

Ben Spies - Position: 5th - Time: +22.221

"Jorge and I got super close coming out of the first corner and he almost touched my brake lever. It made me run wide in turn two and a couple of people came by. It didn't ruin the race but it ruined me building up some momentum. I fought my way back into third and was pretty comfortable when I ran wide at the first corner on lap seven. I got in there a bit hot and the rear came round. Everybody got a run on me and came by and dropped me back to sixth. I then had a good battle with Simoncelli. I kind of towed him around and h e picked up his pace and came by me. Once I knew nobody was behind me, I just waited until a few laps from the end to push and pass him back. I made sure I got a decent gap and chilled out in fifth. At the end I was running times that if everything had gone smoothly, I feel like we could have battled for the podium. Towards the end of the race I was running similar times to those ahead of me and that's all I can do. I'm happy to be Rookie of the Year too. I beat a lot of good guys for that and it will be an achievement I can be proud of at the end of the season. I've had some good results on this three-week stretch and I'm now looking forward to the last two rounds."

Colin Edwards - Position: 7th - Time: +35.168

"The pace I'd run all weekend was pretty much the pace I was able to run in the race. Conditions changed so much over the weekend that we never really got enough time to work on findi ng a decent set-up. I was confident going into the race and got a decent start but pretty much from the second corner I was having some spinning from the rear tyre. I tried to adjust my riding style because I didn't want to lose contact with the group in front of me. I settled into a comfortable rhythm but I just couldn't go any faster. I was trying different lines but I couldn't enter the corner like I wanted to. My speed was basically dictated by what the rear was doing, but we'll look at the data and figure a few things out for the final part of the season. I want to thank my guys at Monster Yamaha Tech 3. This has been a tough period of the season but we've worked really hard together and I'm happy with the way I've performed. Congratulations to Ben too for getting Rookie of the Year. He's rode awesome all year and he's beaten a lot of good guys to achieve that."

Herve Poncharal - Team Manager
"Ben's amazing season just gets better and better. To win the Rookie of the Year title with two races to go is a fantastic achievement for him and all of his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 crew. A lot of very talented riders came from the 250cc class into MotoGP this year and they knew all the tracks, which Ben didn't. He's done a magnificent job and done it with another impressive top five finish. Simoncelli never gave up but Ben was too strong for him and showed how strong he is on used tyres. Without a couple of problems in the early laps, I think he could have battled with Valentino and Nicky for the podium. I'd like to thank Colin for all his efforts in this run of three races because he has been very consistent, qualifying very well and showing strong form in the races. He might have expected to be a bit higher up today but he never stopped pushing and I'm delighted with his attitude. Congratulations to Yamaha too on winning another Triple Crown fo r the third year in succession. The competition is so high in MotoGP and that is an amazing accomplishment."

-source: tech 3 yamaha

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Nicky Hayden , Valentino Rossi , Colin Edwards , Ben Spies , Jorge Lorenzo , Marco Simoncelli , Herve Poncharal , Phillip Island
Teams Tech 3