Yamaha World Superbike Team riders Ben Spies and Tom Sykes ventured out today for their first time on the Brno circuit in the Czech Republic. Both riders spent the first free practice session learning the track layout and testing out the set up of their bike in advance of the afternoon’s qualifying session. Spies showed his usual flair for understanding a circuit in record time, ending the session in third position just two tenths off the leader Max Biaggi. The afternoon’s qualifying session saw similar action as Spies dedicated the session to working out the right tyre choice for Sunday’s two races and fine tuning the set up of his R1. He ended the session in fourth, six tenths off leader Max Biaggi.Tom Sykes worked hard today, he finished the free practice session in 21st after a frustrating session with a technical issue reducing his time on the bike. He came back out in the afternoon’s qualifying and moved up to 8th midway through the session before dropping a couple of places to 16th at the end just behind championship leader Noriyuki Haga in 15th.
Ben Spies Speaks… (4th, 2’00.558)"it was a good session for us today. We weren’t out there to go stupid and try and get the fastest lap, I’ve been concentrating on learning the circuit and working on finding the best tyres for Sunday. I think we’ve found the ones we want, the pace seems to be really good on them so I’m happy and the bike set up is pretty much there. We tried to fit as much as possible into today’s session in the dry in case the rain comes tomorrow and I think we achieved quite a lot. Let’s see what the weather brings us tomorrow."Tom Sykes Speaks…. (16th, 2’01.070)"The first session of the day wasn’t that great, we had a few problems and I missed some valuable time on track which isn’t ideal as I’m still trying to learn the circuit. For the second session we made some improvements and tried a couple of tyres out. We tried some different settings and I think I found a good rhythm but it was towards the end of the session so not enough time to put on a fresh tyre and make a better time. We’ll only get stronger so we’ll see what happens tomorrow. Weather permitting tomorrow the aim is to improve dramatically on lap times for a good two races Sunday."Massimo Meregalli Speaks… (Team Manager)"For the first day of learning the circuit I think we did well today. We found a pretty good race pace for both riders and I think we now know which tyres we want for Sunday. I think it is possibly going to rain tomorrow so it was important for us to get some good dry time on the track today to get as much data as possible for the set up for Sunday."Circuit Length: 5403Lap Record: 2’03.747 (Noriyuki Haga, 01/01/2005)Fastest Lap Ever: 1’58.345 (Troy Bayliss, 20/07/2008)Last Years Winner: Troy Bayliss