Ben Spies was relatively unconcerned despite a heavy crash in second practice for the Valencian Grand Prix on Friday. The American has been battling through pain for the last two events after a heavy fall in qualifying for the Australian GP and did his injured ribs no good with a crash at turn one this afternoon.
Despite that, Spies, who ended the day sixth overall by virtue of his FP1 time, was pretty happy with the feeling of the Yamaha YZR-M1 and hopes to make progress on Saturday morning, if the weather settles.
“I'm a little beat up but that's normal after a crash. I got a little wide over the white line and hit a puddle and hydroplaned the front, lost it and went down. The bike was starting to feel pretty good and we were getting up to speed. It's not the best way to come back, I'm not really happy about it but we'll look forward to tomorrow and make it better. We made a change at the beginning of the second session which was bad, then went back to the settings from the morning and were making progress so we'll continue with that set up in final practice.”
Meanwhile, stand-in teammate Katsuyuki Nakasuga got his first taste of the Ricardo Tormo circuit and admitted to struggling initially. Despite the inclement weather, the Japanese rider is confident of a strong race on Sunday.
“This is my first time at this track and it was pretty difficult at the beginning to learn the way. I'm more comfortable now as I can remember the layout. I would prefer a dry track as I think it's very easy to crash here in the wet. On Sunday I believe I can challenge for a good position, this is my target.”
Team Manager Wilco Zeelenberg was satisfied with Nakasuga's performance and agrees that a good result is possible, as long as he makes the expected progress tomorrow.
“A rainy first day in Valencia. We were afraid because it can be very slippery and Nakasuga-san has never ridden here before. He did quite well in the end, step by step he improved and quickly understood the track conditions. The weather actually gave him a little extra time to slowly learn the track and build up pace. We are quite satisfied with the set up so far and also his performance. We're not sure what the conditions will be like tomorrow but we believe he still has room to improve. A tough day for Ben, hitting the white line is bad under these conditions but thankfully the crash was not so serious and he is ok for tomorrow.”