The three Americans currently competing in MotoGP showed strong results at the Czech Republic Grand Prix in Brno, with Ben Spies taking fourth, Nicky Hayden sixth and Colin Edwards seventh.
When the riders began piloting their motorcycles around Brno on Friday, Spies immediately showed much promise on his Yamaha Monster Tech 3 Yamaha. By Saturday, the Texan had qualified second, just missing the pole to Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa by 0.338 of a second.
While starting from the highest placement of his MotoGP career, Spies got off the grid fast, but lost his early rhythm. Spies battled with front tire grip, but kept up the pace to finish fourth.
Again, Spies provided the best satellite team finish, and also was the second best Yamaha behind race-winner Jorge Lorenzo on the Fiat Yamaha.
Ben Spies says: “I got a good start and was staying right with Jorge and Dani for a few laps and had a comfortable pace. But after about lap seven I starting having problems with the front that I hadn’t experienced all weekend. It’s a shame because while I know I definitely didn’t have anything to fight Jorge with because he is riding so well, maybe I could have stayed close to Dani.”
“I’m not saying I’d have beaten him but I’d have been closer to put up a challenge. I had one second on Casey when I started having the problems but I had to slow my pace quite a bit and that was a bit frustrating because it meant he caught me quite quickly. I couldn’t run his speed so when he passed me I didn’t worry about trying to run with him.”
“I’m not upset though because without that small problem I could have easily battled for the podium. I’d have loved the podium to give me a big lift before going home to Indianapolis, but I’m really happy with my recent performances and once again I was the top satellite team rider and I can’t be unhappy with fourth place.”
In Monday’s test at Brno, Spies was sixth quickest with a best time of 1:57.575 during 42 laps.
Although Ducati Team rider Nicky Hayden chipped a bone in his radius bone during a wreck towards the end of qualifying, the Kentucky Kid placed his GP10 in sixth place, missing a top five to Valentino Rossi by 8.885 seconds.
Nicky Hayden says: “Taking everything into consideration I have to be happy with sixth place – our pace wasn’t bad and looking at the lap times I could have maybe been fighting for a higher position if I was fully fit. When Valentino passed me I managed to stay with him for a while but couldn’t hang on and just had to focus on keeping a pace that allowed me to bring some good points home.”
“I want to thank the team because they made some changes to the bike to give me better grip in the left-hand corners and it worked. Once the race started and the adrenaline kicked in I couldn’t really feel the pain in my hand but I suddenly started to feel it as soon as I crossed the line.”
Hayden was 10th fastest at Monday’s Brno test, posting a best time of 1:59.551 in 38 laps.
The other Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider, Colin Edwards, finished the Czech Republic Grand Prix just behind Hayden. Edwards, also of Texas like his teammate, started from the third row but made it up front quickly.
He fought with Hayden and Rossi, but like Spies, he also was experiencing front grip issues. By the end, he had his best finish of the season with seventh.
Colin Edwards says: “I gave it everything I had and I can’t be disappointed with the way I rode. I thought it was going to be a good race because I’d been strong all weekend and really happy with the new front-end geometry setting that had helped the bike turn much better. And when I got a good start I felt confident that I could challenge for my first top six of the season.”
“But in the race I didn’t have the same feeling with the front tire and I don’t think I was the only one that had a small issue. When I tried to push a bit harder I had a moment and I lost contact with Valentino and Nicky in front of me. I took some risks to keep close to them but there was nothing I could do. Seventh is not a great result but it’s better than where I have been finishing and hopefully we can make some more progress in Indianapolis and be closer to the front.”
Edwards was sixth fastest in Monday testing at Brno, posting a best time of 1:57.552 in 41 laps
2010 MotoGP Brno Results, the Americans:
4. Ben Spies
6. Nicky Hayden
7. Colin Edwards
MotoGP Americans Point Standings (after 10 of 18 rounds):
6. Nicky Hayden, 99
7. Ben Spies, 90
10. Colin Edwards, 57