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Tech 3 off to a flying start

Tech 3 off to a flying start

Colin Edwards and Ben Spies recorded top-six times in the opening practice of the Gran Premio d’Italia TIM.

Monster Yamaha Tech 3 riders Colin Edwards and Ben Spies were extremely pleased with how their respective first sessions at Mugello went on Friday afternoon. The former was fourth quickest in the opening practice at the Italian circuit, whilst Spies placed sixth on the timesheet on his first MotoGP ride at the track.

Edwards, who finished last year’s race in sixth place, felt the benefit of a range of set-up modifications on his YZR-M1 machine immediately. The Tech 3 crew reverted to the same configuration used in the 2009 race, which led to an improved confidence with the front end of his bike for the American.

“I'm really happy with today because the first three races have not been easy at all. Nothing had worked at all so far this season, so the team completely changed the set-up of the bike to be exactly the same as Mugello last year when I had my best result at this track,” explained Edwards, whose best lap of the session was a 1’50.772 and made it three Yamahas inside the top four spots.

“We changed riding position and got my weight moved forward because I've been having a problem keeping weight on the front this season. Now it just feels so natural and the bike does exactly what I want it to do. I want to say a big thanks to Tech 3 and Yamaha because it feels like my bike again and I'm riding with much more confidence.”

Spies’ effort of 1’51.004 was all the more impressive given the fact that not only was it his first ride at Mugello, but that he also continues to recover from the injured ankle he sustained in the last round at Le Mans.

“This track is definitely a more difficult place to learn but it is a super fun track. There are a couple of corners that are really difficult and it can take a while to get into a rhythm, but coming here on the back of a couple of bad results and being immediately fast on such a technically challenging track is really good for me,” said Spies, who was just 0.232s off his team-mate’s pace. “It doesn't feel like I should have been sixth and I guess that is a good sign. I thought I was doing fine so to see I was sixth, I was blown away with that because I thought I'd be about tenth or just outside the top ten.”

He continued: “I'm still having a bit of trouble with the ankle I hurt in the practice crash in Le Mans. There's quite a bit of ligament damage but the only time I really feel it is when I'm trying to tuck in tight on the straight. It's not a major injury but it will take a few weeks to fully recover. On the bike it hurts but it's not slowing me down.”

MotoGP, 2010, GRAN PREMIO D'ITALIA TIM, Colin Edwards, Ben Spies, Monster Yamaha Tech 3

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