A highly promising run of 2010 pre-season MotoGP testing came to a bumpy conclusion for Monster Yamaha Tech 3 riders Ben Spies and Colin Edwards, who both fell - and failed to improve - during the final night of the Qatar test.
Rookie Spies had been a stunning third after his first ever experience of night riding, when the reigning World Superbike champion also suffered a fall, but he could only manage tenth after a tough final night.
“I didn't have a great night really but that can happen,” said the Texan, who lapped 0.8sec slower but was still the top rookie. “Everything that could go wrong went wrong tonight. But I've have had a great winter and this was the first session where it didn't go the way we wanted it to.
“I'd had some small issues early on and went into turn two again and just lost the front. I wasn't really sure what happened but then four people crashed in the next 30 minutes so it must have got really humid really quick because something wasn't right with that many people going down in the same place.
“I did a few more laps to clear my head and got down to some decent times and I'm happy I did that. But it was still a successful test and I leave confident that I'll be competitive for the race next month.
“I want to thank my guys at Monster Yamaha Tech 3 for all their effort in the winter. We've done a good job and I feel we're in a position to have a competitive start to the season,” concluded Spies, who left the test fourth overall behind Casey Stoner, Valentino Rossi and Andrea Dovizioso.
Experienced team-mate Edwards, fourth on night one and also a rider who rarely falls, lost control of his M1 at exactly the same turn as the likes of Spies, Stoner and Hayden on the final night.
The top 2009 satellite rider, who finished the second night in eighth place and was ninth on overall best times, admitted he was relieved to escape injury so close to the start of the racing season.
“It wasn't the ending to testing I was looking for but it wasn't too bad. I just didn't really have a great feeling with the bike tonight and we need to have a think about things before we come back for the race next month,” said Edwards, preparing to start his eight season in MotoGP.