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Spies and Edwards make progress in Sepang QP

Spies and Edwards make progress in Sepang QP

Ben Spies and Colin Edwards qualified fourth and seventh respectively for the Shell Advance Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix.

Spies scorched to his seventh consecutive top-six qualifying result, the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider finishing just 0.164s away from securing a stunning front row start as he once again qualified as the top non-factory rider on the grid.

The 26 year-old made big progress in improving the set-up of his YZR-M1 machine in searing heat, drastically improving front and rear grip that was lacking during Friday’s opening practice session. Spies was the first rider to dip under the 2’02” barrier with 15 minutes remaining, an impressive lap of 2’01.993 moving him to the top of the rankings and he eventually placed fourth in the session.

Edwards missed the second row of the grid by just 0.067s, the 36 year-old taking big strides in finding more front and rear traction with his YZR-M1. Slippery track conditions that meant grip was at a premium on Friday were vastly improved and Edwards needed just six laps to break into the 2’02” bracket. He was able to lap at a consistent pace throughout in race trim and eventually posted a 2’02.097 to finish seventh.

Ben Spies - 4th:

“I'm happy to be so close to the front row and it gives me a lot of encouragement for the race. From fourth on the grid it means another good start will put me in contention for a strong race. I did a race simulation this morning so at least I know how the bike is working in race set-up and I'm happy with it. I intentionally did the longer run in lower heat conditions just to see how I felt. It was still pretty brutal but I felt pretty good and it set me up for a good qualifying. This afternoon was the first time I really used the soft tyre. Everything went pretty good and I put together one decent lap time and then I had good lap going when I made a mistake at the final corner. I caught Colin and he was actually trying give me a tow down the back straight to help me out, but I was a little further back than he thought and by the time I got to him we were hitting the brakes and I missed my brake marker and ran wide. That lap would have put me on the front row for sure but I'm confident that if we raced right now I'd be in the top five and that's what I'm looking for."

Colin Edwards - 7th:

“It was really hot out there this afternoon. Each time I was in the pits I was pouring water all over me and it's going to be a tough race tomorrow in that heat. I would love to say I could have gone faster but I gave it my maximum and there wasn't a lot left in the tank. But the bike feels really good and my guys at Monster Yamaha Tech 3 did a great job because we found a lot more grip today. The grip was so good in Japan last weekend that you kind of come here and expect a similar feeling, but we had to change everything on the bike to get some grip. We've definitely made the bike a lot better and I'm confident for the race. As for Ben, I was coming into the pits and I looked back coming out of turn four and I could see he was behind me. I thought I'd pick my pace up a little bit so I could perhaps tow him down the back straight and he might be able to get on the front row or even pole. But as I got closer to the final corner I guess he just missed his braking marker. Both of us ended up decent on the grid though and I'm looking forward to the race."

Monster Yamaha Tech 3 press release

MotoGP, 2010, SHELL ADVANCE MALAYSIAN MOTORCYCLE GRAND PRIX, Colin Edwards, Ben Spies, Monster Yamaha Tech 3

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