Super Spies storms to maiden front row start in Brno Ben Spies stormed to his maiden MotoGP front row start in Brno today, the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider coming within seconds of claiming a stunning pole position at the end of a dramatic...
Super Spies storms to maiden front row start in Brno
Ben Spies stormed to his maiden MotoGP front row start in Brno today, the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider coming within seconds of claiming a stunning pole position at the end of a dramatic qualifying session.
The Texan needed less than a quarter of the session to establish himself in the top six as he continued to make significant progress with the set-up of his YZR-M1 machine in preparation for tomorrow's 22-lap race.
Spies began to demonstrate his fast pace shortly after the halfway stage when he moved into fourth position. His challenge for a landmark career first pole position began to gather serious momentum though when he surged into second place with a lap of 1.57.166 that put him just 0.005s behind Spaniard Dani Pedrosa.
He first moved to the top of the timesheets with 16 minutes remaining, an impressive lap of 1.57.140 on the softer compound Bridgestone rear tyre moving him 0.021s clear of the field.
The reigning World Superbike champion though wasn't finished and he produced another blistering lap in the final five minutes of 1.56.846 to put him back ahead of Pedrosa by a margin of just 0.013s.
But with a remarkable first pole position beckoning, Pedrosa produced a decisive late attack, the triple world champion clocking a best of 1.56.508 with just 40 seconds remaining to drop Spies into second spot.
Spies though was thrilled after securing his first front row start and is brimming with confidence that he can mount a serious challenge for a second podium finish in what has so far been a fantastic first full season in MotoGP for the 26-year-old.
Fellow American Colin Edwards also had something to cheer this afternoon as he enjoyed his second best qualifying session of the campaign.
The experienced Texan had joined Spies in the top three earlier in the session as he lapped comfortably in the low 1.58 bracket in full race trim.
Profiting from the improved turning performance created by a revised front-end geometry setting, Edwards looked destined to secure a place on the second row for only the second time in 2010.
But despite his best efforts, he was unable to utilise the performance of his final two soft compound rear Bridgestone tyres and had to settle for seventh place. His best time of 1.57.222 was just 0.105s away from the second row and Edwards is confident he can score his first ever top six finish at Brno tomorrow.
Ben Spies 2nd 1.56.846 - 24 laps
"My goal was to be on the second row and I didn't think the front row was possible, let alone a pole position, so I'm really happy. From the start of the weekend every change we have made to the bike has been better and that doesn't usually happen. I had a decent pace so I was confident I could have a good qualifying. When we put the second soft tyre in I got into first position and I thought people would go faster. I did a really good time at the end but when I saw I was still up there I thought, 'I could do this.' Dani did a good job and I didn't have those last three tenths anyway and the time I set was a good time for me. It would have been nice to have a pole position but at this point just being on the middle of the front row is a great result for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team and myself. I'll try and get a good start and if I can latch onto those guys for the first six or seven laps I can put together a good race. I've struggled in the first few laps in some races but here I've been able to get into a fast rhythm pretty quick, so I'm looking forward to it. This is just qualifying but it gives you confidence for the race. I've had a podium in my first full season and a front row is another box ticked and that's very satisfying for me."
Colin Edwards 7th 1.57.222 -- 24 laps
"That's my best qualifying for a few races and it was looking really good for a while when I got myself into the top three after I used the first soft tyre. Unfortunately I just couldn't quite get the best out of the last two soft tyres I had at the end of the session. You have to push so hard to get a good time that you wear the front tyre a lot. It is only a small drop because the Bridgestone front is awesome, but it was enough to make the bike not feel as balanced and I struggled to get the bike turned. I just didn't have the confidence to push as hard as I wanted with a new rear tyre and used front. But I know when the grip is the same on the front and the rear that we've got a really competitive package. I'm really happy with the bike and the new front-end geometry setting is helping me a lot. I can just ride with more confidence and comfort and the bike turns much better with more weight on the front. We've finally got the chassis working pretty good and I'm riding good, so I'll hopefully get my first top six at this track. It has been a bogey track for me in the past but I'm confident I can get my best result here. Congratulations to Ben too for his first front row. He's been riding awesome and it is great for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team."
-source: tech 3