This weekend sees the MotoGP field head to Misano for Round 12 of the championship. For Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Ben Spies, it is an opportunity to continue the great form he showed last weekend in Indianapolis, claiming his first MotoGP pole, and converting that into 2nd. For Colin Edwards, it is a chance to put Indy behind him, after having tyre problems in the race causing him to retire.
And it was Edwards who was the quicker of the 2 in Free Practice 1, as he finished 5th on the timesheet after running a full race distance on one set of soft tyres. Using this data, the experienced American will be hoping to claim another top 6 result in tomorrows Free Practice and Qualifying.
Speaking after the session had ended, Edwards was happy to say the least. “That was a good start to the weekend and I’m really happy with the bike.” said Colin “We had a bit too much weight on the front at the start of the session and a little adjustment to get more weight on the rear really helped my confidence. I kept the same rear tyre for the whole session and it felt really good. It was the softer option but it already looks like that’s going to be the race tyre. It performed really well over a long distance and my fastest lap was on lap 26, so we’ve got no worries about it being good for the whole race. And I didn’t really have any spinning issues and I told my guys it felt like the best grip I’ve had all year, so a big thanks to Bridgestone. I think we can only make the bike better and I feel like my first top six of the season is definitely attainable on Sunday.”
For Spies, it was all about continuing the form he has been showing in recent races, with his confidence brimming after last weekend. And even though the rookie finished the session just behind his teammate in 6th, Spies is certain that with some tweeks to the stability of the M1 Yamaha, a higher position is possible for tomorrow.
“I’m happy with today and it’s another decent start.” said Ben. “Like Colin, I stayed on the soft tyre for the whole session and while I’m happy with the lap times, I know we can find some more time. We can make the rear better because I was just missing a bit of grip and stability that would allow me to go that little bit faster. And we can definitely make the front-end better. It wasn’t a big problem but I wasn’t as comfortable as I can be in the session. We’ve had a look at that already and know what we’ve got to try to make that better for tomorrow. So with a couple of minor issues I’m happy it was a solid session. There’s definitely not one second we can find in the bike but there’s definitely a few tenths we can find with some different settings we’ll try tomorrow.”