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Strong first day for Tech3 team in Malaysia


Ben Spies and Colin Edwards recorded the fifth and sixth fastest times respectively on Thursday at Sepang.

The Monster Yamaha Tech3 team ended the first day of the second test at Sepang in high spirits after a good display from riders Ben Spies and Colin Edwards. Riding their respective M1 machines the two riders came inside the top six times on Thursday, both showing improvements on their best laps from the first test three weeks earlier.

Continuing his learning process on board the MotoGP machine Spies’ time of 2’01.843 was the fifth quickest of day one, as the American carried on his learning process on board the MotoGP bike in ideal track conditions. Work on revised geometry settings to improve rear grip helped Spies get 42 laps under his belt, and he is pleased with the progress he is making.

“It was hot out there today but I'm happy with how I performed and I feel I've accomplished a fair bit,” said Spies. “I automatically picked up where I left off here because my fourth lap today was only three-tenths slower than my best time at the first test. I'm close to half-a-second faster than the last test and I'm more consistent. My fastest laps were all on tyres that had done race distance and that makes me happier than anything else. It's not so much that I got under the 2’02” barrier but I did it on worn tyres and I think that will be one of my big strong points this season. I feel like I'm getting closer to finding the limit of the Bridgestone tyres and I'm getting more comfortable on them, but we still need to do more work.”

Spies continued: “Today we played around with the bike a bit more than previously just to understand a few things but it was nothing major. Some changes were good and some were bad and I feel we made some important progress and I definitely had more grip. Everyday I'm trying to learn something and go a little bit quicker and that's what I achieved.”

Edwards overcame a minor technical issue in the morning which cost him some track time to clock in at 2’01.897 – the sixth fastest lap of the day – and worked on a new swingarm, as well as evaluating new electronics.

“After the small problem I had this morning I had to play catch up pretty quick to the rest of the guys, but I managed to do some good laps and I'm happy with my pace,” commented Edwards. “It was a productive day and I feel like we've learned a few things. Everybody is testing electronics and Yamaha have done another good job because what I tried definitely has some good points and they are moving in the right direction. Yamaha might have dominated last year but they definitely haven't just taken the easy option and sat back. They've worked really hard on improving what was already a great bike, and some of the improvements have really helped me.”

Edwards added: “I did more work on the new swingarm and I like it. It seems to help the front and the rear of the bike and it gives me a lot more confidence. And it helps a lot with my front feeling, which I had an issue with a bit last year.”

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Source: MotoGP

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