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Confident start for Tech 3

Confident start for Tech 3

Fourth and eighth on the timesheet in the first practice at the TIM TT Assen for Monster Yamaha Tech 3 riders Colin Edwards and Ben Spies.

The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team made a flying start to the 80th staging of the legendary Dutch TT at Assen today.

In unusually warm temperatures that peaked at 27ºC, Colin Edwards made a welcome return to form at the iconic Assen circuit. The experienced American took to the track using a new front-end geometry setting on his YZR-M1 machine and he immediately felt much more confident and able to show his true potential after a tough start to 2010.

Capitalising brilliantly on the improved turning performance as a result of the front-end setting modification, Edwards finished fourth and was just 0.013s away from the top three. He easily finished leading non-factory rider with a best time of 1’35.699 as he looks to extend his impressive record of scoring points in every race so far this season.

“I really needed that after a tough start to the season and thanks to my guys at Monster Yamaha Tech 3 who have been working really hard to improve my situation,” said the American. “I really like Assen and the change they made on the back section made it feel a little bit more like the old circuit.”

“My bike is quite a bit different to what it has been this season and I'm running a front geometry setting that is a lot different to what I've ever run before,” he continued. “I'm just trying to make the bike turn easier and feel a little more natural and it is similar to the setting that Valentino and Jorge like. I've got a lot more confidence than Silverstone because that was not a positive weekend at all. This track is a lot more free flowing and you have to keep a lot of momentum and that suits my style. And I can just get the bike to turn better and that's where I've been lacking. Now the bike feels great and I'm looking forward to a good weekend.”

Ben Spies also produced an encouraging display this afternoon, the reigning World Superbike champion determined to build on the momentum gained from his outstanding maiden MotoGP podium at Silverstone last weekend.

The Texan was able to reel off a series of consistent laps and in the final ten minutes he stormed into the top four. A best lap of 1’35.942 saw Spies finish eighth but he was just 0.020s away from the top six.

The hot conditions saw track temperatures soar to 44ºC and Spies spent the session exclusively on the hard compound Bridgestone rear tyre option to gain crucial information ahead of Saturday's 26-lap race. He will make minor set-up tweaks overnight to improve turning performance on his YZR-M1 and he is confident of claiming his first top-six grid position in tomorrow's qualifying session.

“It was a decent session though we definitely need to make a couple of changes to the bike to make it a bit better in the longer turns,” said Spies. “I had quite a good set-up at Silverstone to make the bike more nimble and we started with that setting here. But it wasn't working that well so we'll go back to what we know works tomorrow and I'm confident it should be better. I worked a lot on the hard race tyre and I'm definitely happy with the performance and the balance of the bike. I just need to make the bike turn better when I'm on the throttle. I 'm really happy with corner entry but I'm losing a lot on the longer turns.”

The rookie continued: “The target tomorrow will be to get on the second row and I've not managed that yet. But the times are so close that with a couple of improvements to the bike I'm sure that a top six is a realistic target. Looking at my last eight laps I'm not far off at all and I'm looking forward to another positive weekend.”

Press release courtesy of Monster Yamaha Tech 3

MotoGP, 2010, TIM TT ASSEN, Colin Edwards, Ben Spies, Monster Yamaha Tech 3

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