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Ben Spies impressed by 2011 Yamaha

Ben Spies, the only rider to officially have a 2011 Yamaha MotoGP contract already in place, spent most of Monday's Brno test riding a prototype version of next year's M1.

The Texan, set to replace the departing Valentino Rossi at the factory team in 2011, completed 36 of his 42 test laps with the all-black prototype, setting a best time 0.5sec quicker than he managed on his way to fourth in Sunday's race.

That was good enough for seventh on the testing timesheets, although Spies - who 'wasn't sure what he was riding' - insisted he hadn't been chasing a lap time, and was more impressed by how fast he had been able to match his pace on the 2010 bike he knows so well.

“It was a good day. I can't say too much about the new bike and honestly I'm not sure exactly what I rode," said the MotoGP rookie. "I just got on and rode what was given to me and I didn't set any blistering lap times today but that was not the objective.

"Today was all about giving feedback and getting some data on the new bike. The good thing is that I was pretty much on the pace of the bike I've been riding since February and that is a big positive because we've got plenty of time to work on that bike. We got lots of information so it was a productive day."

Spies set a personal MotoGP high by qualifying second on the grid at Brno and is aiming to beat his third place at Silverstone during the second and final US round at Indianapolis later this month.

"It was a good weekend with my first front row start and a strong fourth place in the race and after today I'm heading to Indianapolis for another home race full of confidence," he said.

"I love racing in front of my home fans and hopefully I'll be able to get my best result of the season at Indy.”

MotoGP title leader Jorge Lorenzo was the only other rider to try the prototype M1 at the test. Lorenzo insists he hasn't yet signed for 2011, but the Lorenzo/Spies factory Yamaha line-up looks certain.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Spies, Brno MotoGP Test August 2010
Jorge Lorenzo, Mercedes AMG Petronas, Silverstone [Credit: Monster Energy]
Rossi, Valencia MotoGP test, November 2016
Rossi, Redding, Valencia MotoGP test, November 2016
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Rossi, Valencia MotoGP tests, November 2016
Rossi, Valencia MotoGP tests, November 2016
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Rossi, Valencia MotoGP tests, November 2016
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Lorenzo, Cristian Gabarrini Valencia MotoGP tests, November 2016

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ooj - Unregistered

August 17, 2010 2:38 PM

Will Ben get factory support? I guess that depends on Rossi's contract. Over the years, I get the impression that Rossi's contracts have a few rules about what the "other guys" in his garage can or cannot have. Remember when Hayden was his teammate it was sometimes unclear whether Nicky was riding the same bike. If true, I find it idiosyncratic that Rossi keeps insisting that "it's the rider not the bike" when he has a history of ensuring that he has the best bike whenever possible. It is definitely in Yamaha's interest to give Ben the best parts possible, going forward. As long as they don't break any of Rossi's special rules.



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