Ben Spies has already earned a place in Colin Edwards' affections after pulling off the pass that was decisive in helping his future Tech 3 Yamaha team-mate secure fifth place in the MotoGP standings at Valencia.
Having already been confirmed as the top satellite rider in this year's classifications, Edwards set his sights on overhauling Andrea Dovizioso for fifth overall having gone into the race just four points adrift.
Out-qualifying the Italian in fifth position, Edwards would go on to gain a position to cross the line in fourth. However, his fate would fall into the hands of fellow Texan Spies, making his Yamaha MotoGP debut, when the American snatched seventh position off Dovizioso with just six laps remaining.
Demoting Dovizioso to eighth position at the chequered flag, it means Edwards would leapfrog him for fifth in the standings by just a single point. Naturally, a jubilant Edwards was full of praise for the recently crowned World Superbike champion.
“It turns out Ben got by him [Andrea] and that point proved crucial. I gave him a big hug after the race and anything he wants me to buy him, he can have it. I'm glad he adapted so quickly to the Yamaha because him riding so well is what got me that fifth overall and I'm really looking forward to working with him.
His best overall performance in MotoGP since 2005, when he ended the year fourth on the factory Yamaha, Edwards finished all but one race this season and managed seven top five results.
“To finish fifth in the championship is a great feeling when you look at the talent in front of me. I was consistent all season and feel like I rode some of my best races to get this final position. I'm happy for myself and for my guys at Monster Yamaha Tech 3. We are a really close unit and they always give me 100 per cent, so hopefully they can take a lot of satisfaction out of this result as well.
Although he has endured a fractious relationship with his team-mate, Edwards also took the time to wish World Superbike-bound James Toseland success in the future.
“I wish James all the best for the future too and am convinced he can carry on Yamaha's success in World Superbikes."