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Smooth first day for Spies in factory set-up

Smooth first day for Spies in factory set-up

The American spent much of the afternoon riding the 2011 prototype YZR-M1 at Valencia, as he began work on the factory Yamaha team.

Ben Spies enjoyed his first day as a Yamaha factory rider at the Valencia Test on Tuesday, putting in 42 laps as he focused on chassis settings for the new bike.

The 2010 Rookie of the Year made quick progress with the 2011 M1 machine, lowering his lap times and ending the day with the third fastest time behind new team-mate Jorge Lorenzo and Honda rider Casey Stoner as he lapped consistently.

“It was good! There were a lot of changes today with some crew guys, engineers, and the bike,” said Spies. “It’s pretty similar to what I raced this season but there are a lot of subtle changes. With everything today – the wind too – to go as fast as we did was very smooth, but it is very different. I’m happy with it, we ended in the top three and I hope we can go even better tomorrow. I didn’t want to stack it up on the first day. I look forward to tomorrow.”

Outlining the plan for Wednesday, the second and final day of the Test, Spies continued: “There are some new parts here and we’ll try some new tyres tomorrow, just working with the new guys and getting a feel for how they work, things like that. I think we got a lot accomplished today.”

Earlier in the day Yamaha confirmed the team structure in the factory set-up for 2011. Spies brings his crew chief Tom Houseworth into the team along with mechanics Gregory Wood (from his 2010 Tech 3 Yamaha Team), Jurij Pellegrini (from his 2009 Yamaha WSBK team) and YMR mechanic Mattia Bonera.

As announced before Yamaha will have a new Team Director for 2011, Massimo Meregalli, who will also be Team Manager for Spies’ crew on race weekends.

Speaking about the opening day, Meregalli commented: "As a first day, I think Ben's crew worked really well. He was very satisfied with the new 2011 prototype YZR-M1 bike which is a good sign. We didn't make many changes to the set-up in the session so it' s clear that we have a good base to work with. Tomorrow we will start to test the 2011 tyres as today Ben used the same ones as he ran for Sunday's race."

MotoGP, 2010, Ben Spies, Fiat Yamaha Team

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