Ben Spies played a starring role on the second day of MotoGP testing in Valencia today, the Texan producing another confident and assured performance on his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1 machine.
Making only his fifth appearance on board Yamaha’s YZR-M1 machine, the 25-year-old continued his seamless transition from World Superbikes to finish with the fourth quickest time.
Spies again resisted the temptation to experiment with different settings today, the reigning World Superbike champion taking full advantage of improved conditions to dedicate more time on adapting his riding style to suit the YZR-M1 machine.
His best lap time of 1.32.942 was 0.5s faster than his fastest pace yesterday and for the majority of today he occupied third position on the timesheets behind Jorge Lorenzo and Casey Stoner.
At the end of a positive and fruitful day, Spies was only 0.414s away from reigning MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi in his 61-lap stint.
Ben Spies Speaks… 1.32.942 – 61 laps
"I’m really happy with this test. My performance in the race surpass ed my expectations and so did the test. I didn’t touch the set-up of the bike again and continued mainly working on adapting my style. I feel like I made a lot of progress. My data guy could see on the computer that I was riding with more of a MotoGP style and each day I’ve made steps and gained confidence with the tyres. At the end I put on some tyres that had half race distance on them, but I was still able to lap half-a-second faster than yesterday. And where I was running 34’1s in the race I could get into low 33s consistently today. I’ve been making small steps but I’m a lot closer to the front than the back, so that is a good sign. I’ve enjoyed working with my new guys at Monster Yamaha Tech 3. It has been a tough year but a great year for me and I’m looking forward to the winter, training hard and being ready to go again in February."
Fellow Texan Colin Edwards was unable to test today, the 35-year-old struck down by a virus overnight that forced him to undergo treatment in the Clinica Mobile for a high temperature and low blood pressure.
The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team now starts a thoroughly deserved winter break before reconvening at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia in early February.