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Edwards and Spies on third row in close Jerez qualifying

Edwards and Spies on third row in close Jerez qualifying

A thrilling qualifying session at a sun-drenched Jerez circuit ended with Colin Edwards and Ben Spies claiming hard fought places on the third row of the grid for tomorrow's Spanish MotoGP race.

The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 pairing will start alongside each other on row three after Edwards qualified his YZR-M1 machine in seventh, with fellow Texan Spies just 0.019s further back in eighth.

Seventh spot was reward for Edwards' efforts in fine-tuning the set-up of his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine. The 36-year-old spent much of the session concentrating on improving the electronic set-up of his YZR-M1 while also making crucial front-end geometry changes to improve his corner entry confidence.

Fast learner Spies made a mockery of his inexperience at the 4.423km Andalucian circuit to finish just over 0.7s away from pole position and just over 0.4s adrift of the front row.

Spies was a superb sixth in free practice with his all-action style thrilling a large home crowd and the 25-year-old has been one of the most consistent on worn race tyres during the weekend, boosting hopes of another impressive display in tomorrow's 27-lap race. The reigning World Superbike champion is confident he can at least emulate his brilliant top five finish in the season's opening race in Qatar last month.

Today's qualifying session was a closely contested affair with just 0.825s covering the top ten.

Colin Edwards, 7th, 1'39.970 – 26 laps

“It has been hard work so far this weekend and a bit of a struggle if I'm being honest, so to finish seventh is a pretty good outcome for me. I seem to have been struggling with the electronics all weekend and we just haven't been able to get to a point where it feels all that predictable, and that has been a big strength of the Yamaha. We've been experimenting with that a lot but I feel we made some decent progress. I changed the geometry on the front of the bike to make it more like the set-up that Valentino likes with a bit more weight on the front. That helped me a lot with the bike feeling a lot more balanced and now I've got more feel from the front. Tomorrow is going to be a typical Jerez race. You've got to hope you can come out Turn One unscathed, see where you're at and then just go for it. It's going to be a tough race but I'll be giving it my all for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team.”

Ben Spies 8th – 1'39.989 – 28 laps

“I'm happy and it's good to be in the middle of the third row because I can try and get a good start and see what's going on in the first couple of laps and try and get up there. I was happier with my race set-up than what I had for the quick lap on the soft tyres. I didn't mess anything up real big but I just couldn't get into that qualifying mode and put that fast lap in. From not knowing where I was going yesterday, I'm happy to be in the top ten and hopefully I can get closer to the front and see what is going on up there. I'd like to think I can get in the battle for the top six but it's going to be hard. Towards the end of the race is where I'll be more comfortable because I'll get in that rhythm and when the tyres go off I'll feel a little better with the bike. I've got a pretty good feeling where I'm going on the track and I just need to change a few things for tomorrow and hopefully ride a littl e better. But I'm looking forward to my first race in Jerez.”

Press release courtesy of Monster Yamaha Tech3

MotoGP, 2010, GRAN PREMIO bwin DE ESPAÑA, Colin Edwards, Ben Spies, Monster Yamaha Tech 3

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