The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team returned to action today, with the first practice session in Brno, for Round 10 of the MotoGP championship. Hoping to continue the good form they showed in Laguna Seca, Colin Edwards and Ben Spies were keen to make an impression from the off. And it was Edwards who had the speed, partly due to an experimental gyro on the front of his YZR-M1. Being a constant figure in the top 6, and even being 4th at one point, Edwards was the highest placed non-factory rider, edging out Ducati’s Casey Stoner in the final moments.
After the session Edwards was happy, and gearing up for a strong performance in qualifying on Staurday. “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 through 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.”
The weather was the enemy for Spies. Ending the session in 9th, He was hoping to improve on his time, set at the start of the session, after having the new gyro installed on his bike. However, the rain came at the worst possible time and Spies’ 6th place time was knocked down to 9th.
After the session, Spies was a picture of frustration, “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 middle 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.”