Edwards and Spies make positive return to action The second half of the 2010 MotoGP campaign got underway in impressive fashion today for Monster Yamaha Tech 3 duo Colin Edwards and Ben Spies. Refreshed after a short two-week summer break, ...
Edwards and Spies make positive return to action
The second half of the 2010 MotoGP campaign got underway in impressive fashion today for Monster Yamaha Tech 3 duo Colin Edwards and Ben Spies.
Refreshed after a short two-week summer break, Edwards was immediately able to set a fast pace on board his Yamaha YZR-M1 machine as he tried an experimental front-end geometry setting in today's opening practice session at the Brno circuit.
Edwards was a permanent fixture in the top six throughout as he took full advantage of the improved turning performance from the revised front setting.
Making solid progress with the extra confidence created by the changes as the session wore on, Edwards clocked a best time of 1.58.497 to finish top non-factory rider in sixth position as he edged out former world champion Casey Stoner. The 36-year-old had been as high as fourth at the halfway stage.
Spies declared himself satisfied with his afternoon's work as a best lap of 1.58.970 secured him the ninth fastest time.
Earlier bright sunshine had quickly given way to cloudier conditions when the session commenced and Spies' hopes of lowering his lap times were thwarted when light rain started to fall in the final 15 minutes. The short rain shower fell at the worst moment for the 26-year-old, who was poised to undertake a series of laps on a new front-end geometry setting he was convinced would help him move further up the leaderboard.
Spies, who won one World Superbike race at the technical and challenging Czech Republic circuit last season, had been as high as sixth place and is confident with more time on the revised front-end setting that he can be challenging for a top six result in Sunday's 22-lap race.
Colin Edwards - Position 6th Time: 1.58.497 - 17 laps
"I felt pretty good immediately and I feel like we should be in for a strong weekend if we can build on the momentum from today. A lot this season we have started on the back foot a bit and spent the whole weekend playing catch-up. But we've got a platform to build on and that's mainly down to a new front-end setting we tried. Thanks to my guys at Monster Yamaha Tech 3 because they came up with this experimental setting and it worked really well. We put more weight on the front and I like it better than what I started the session on. Now the bike holds the turn a lot better and I'm not running wide. We've put more force t hrough the front tyre to help it turn and I'm sure we can make another step tomorrow if we get dry conditions. I've never had a top six here before, so after this start I'm hoping to put that right on Sunday."
Ben Spies Position 9th Time: 1.58.970 - 20 laps
"We started with the setting from Laguna Seca and I just couldn't quite reach the pace of where I needed to be. But I know there is definite room for improvement. The first bike I just couldn't get working like I needed and we'd got quite a bit different front-end setting in the second bike. Right when I started my out lap on the second bike though I could see sprinkles of rain. I was trying to get round as quick as I could to at least get one fast lap in to try and compare the different front set-up and I'm pretty sure we've found something with that direction. The second bike should make it easier for me to roll through the middl e of the corner because I was having to hold the brake a bit too much on the other bike to help it turn. I'm pretty frustrated because that bit of rain stopped me from getting in a few laps to properly try it and get some data. I wasn't fussed about bettering my time, I just wanted to feel the difference. But I'm 90 per cent sure that the second bike set-up is the way we need to go."