World Superbike champion Ben Spies shook off a '70%' fall in Saturday free practice at Silverstone to equal his best qualifying position of the season in the afternoon session.

The MotoGP rookie suffered this highside accident (more pictures in gallery below) on his in-lap during final free practice, tweaking his injured ankle further, then was held up by Randy de Puniet's fall at the end of the session.

Nevertheless, the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider will line-up seventh on the grid, having been less than two tenths off the pace of fifth placed Nicky Hayden, with the second factory Ducati of Casey Stoner in-between.

"I certainly tried as hard as I could and on the last lap I might have picked up another tenth to get on the second row but de Puniet crashed in front of me and that definitely cost me a small bit of time," said Spies.

"My ankle is not too bad and shouldn't be a problem in the race. I was actually going to come into the pits [this morning] because there had been a few crashes and I was only doing 70 per cent of my normal speed when I got caught out. It can happen but I'll be ready to give my maximum effort in the race.

"On the speed charts we're down a bit and that is making it difficult and if I don't get a good start it will make it hard to pass people. But I'm happy with my riding and the set-up of the bike and the lap times are consistent."

Team-mate Colin Edwards will start from tenth, having been unable to find a set-up that allowed him to push at his normal pace.

"That was really hard work and I just can't ride the bike to the level I know I can," he said. "I'm just not comfortable and to ride as hard as I had to just for tenth, I'm not happy. There are guys that I beat easily last year that I'm struggling to match at the moment and it certainly isn't through a lack of trying.

"It is hard not to get frustrated but I am doing my absolute best to improve and get some more speed out of the bike. But we're struggling for engine speed and I can't get a decent setting with the chassis. Tenth is not a position I'm happy to be in but I'll give it my all in the race tomorrow because everybody at Monster Yamaha Tech 3 is working hard to improve the situation."


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