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Podium a “realistic target” for Spies

Podium a “realistic target” for Spies

A best MotoGP qualification of fourth place for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rookie means he is in a good position to push for a second top-three finish at Assen.

Ben Spies enjoyed his best MotoGP qualification to date at the TIM TT Assen on Friday as he took fourth place on the starting grid for Saturday’s race, and the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider was encouraged by how close the lap times at the top of the timesheet were.

Just 0.129s separated Randy de Puniet, Casey Stoner and Spies from positions two to four in the session, with the American just 0.411s off pole holder Jorge Lorenzo’s best lap time. Combined with his first MotoGP podium in the last round at Silverstone that has bred confidence in Spies, who declared that he has his sights set on another top-three finish.

“Judging by where I qualified another podium is a realistic target,” said the 25 year-old. “Obviously Jorge is a way ahead of me at the front but the fight between third to sixth is pretty close. I'm in that fight and that could land me on the podium. But it could easily be a dogfight and I could end up sixth or seventh. Going into the race though I'm closer than I was with the lap times than Silverstone, so anything is possible.”

Spies, whose highest grid start this season had been seventh in the previous two rounds, continued: "It's my best qualifying session and I'm really happy. I wanted to get on the second row but I was a little bit worried that I would be at the back of it and for the first corner here I wanted to be in a better position.”

It now remains for the decision to be taken by Spies and his Tech 3 team on which type of tyre he will use in the race. He added: “I wasn't sure how much I would get out of the soft tyre, but as soon as we bolted it on I was faster. We've got good pace so we'll look at the weather conditions and comments but I think both tyres will work. I've got good pace on the hard and soft tyre so we just need to see what Bridgestone's opinion is. The soft tyre will be quicker in the beginning so we'll see but it will be a tough call.”

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

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