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Confident start for Edwards and Spies at sun-drenched Indianapolis

Confident start for Edwards and Spies at sun-drenched Indianapolis

The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 pair made a fast and confident start to their respective weekends in the opening practice session.

Edwards will set a personal milestone on home soil on Sunday when he becomes only the 13th rider in history to start 130 premier class races. And he made an impressive start to the landmark weekend at the world famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The 36-year-old concentrated on fine-tuning a revised front-end geometry setting he first used in Brno earlier this month on board his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1 machine. Edwards was a persistent threat in the top six throughout the session, which was run in gloriously sunny conditions that saw air temperatures hit 28 degrees. The Texan was as high as third in the final 20 minutes and his best time of 1’41.664 left him just 0.041s behind reigning world champion Valentino Rossi in sixth place overall.

Just as impressive was team-mate Spies, who wasted no time in establishing himself in the top three in the early stages. Spies gave a sun-soaked and sizeable home crowd reason to cheer from the off when he topped the timesheets in the opening 15 minutes.

Spies, who will move to Yamaha's factory squad in 2011 after a fantastic first full season in MotoGP with the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 squad, was always in contention for a top three position as he reeled off a series of consistently fast laps on race tyres.

Not even a late crash could take the shine off a productive afternoon for the 26 year-old, who ended in eighth position, a result that certainly did not reflect his true potential. Spies lost the front-end of his YZR-M1 machine after hitting a bumpy section at turn six and he ended with a best time of 1’41.722 to finish less than one-tenth behind Edwards.

Colin Edwards – 6th

“I'm really happy with that session because the bike felt good and that's the main thing. We've had so many races this year where I've struggled finding a good set-up quickly and we've been trying to catch up right from the first session. But the front-end setting we first tried in Brno is working well here too, so it seems like we made a big breakthrough at the last race. Now I can hold good corner speed instead of fighting the bike, and I feel more confident and comfortable. I've always said this season that if the bike is working underneath me, I can still ride it fast. And that is the case now. I got my best result of the season with seventh in Brno and that gave me some momentum. We've just got to carry it on and show what we are capable of."

Ben Spies – 8th

“I'm actually pretty happy with that session even though it ended not so great with the crash. I'm not too upset because it was one of those crashes that I know what I did wrong. There's a bump going into turn six and I turned in a little too early. I knew I was turning in too early but I thought I wasn't pushing the front hard enough to make a difference. But as soon as I hit the bump I lost the front. I missed the last five minutes and I definitely could have gone quicker because the bike was working good and I felt good. I was right up there all the time but I just made a mistake. Without that I'm sure I could have gone three or four tenths faster and been in a better position. But I did quite a lot of consistent fast laps and we have a lot of good data on race tyres, so it was a good start to the weekend.”

Monster Yamaha Tech 3 press release

MotoGP, 2010, RED BULL INDIANAPOLIS GRAND PRIX, Colin Edwards, Ben Spies, Monster Yamaha Tech 3

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