MotoGP rookie Ben Spies has explained why he did the least laps of any rider during Friday's wet and windy free practice session at Phillip Island in Australia.
The session was delayed by several hours due to the weather, but all riders except Spies took to the track when the go-ahead was finally given.
The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider waited in the pits for almost 20-minutes of the hour, before registering three laps and calling it a day. Even Dani Pedrosa, making his return from injury, rode for seven laps.
“There wasn't a lot to be gained out there today," explained Spies, who was unsurprisingly 17th and last. "I did a couple of laps and it is not the rain and the cold, but the wind was so unpredictable it was making it quite dangerous.
"I couldn't really brake on the right line and to gain anything out there this afternoon I'd have to ride so on the limit that it wasn't worth taking any risks. If it was Saturday morning and it was going to be like this all day I'd have stuck in a full session, but I wasn't going to learn much when the conditions are that bad.
"I didn't want to risk getting hurt or tearing up any equipment and making the guys have to build up a new bike for tomorrow just because I made a mistake in less than ideal conditions.
"Hopefully the weather will be better tomorrow and we can get some serious work done because I love this track and am confident of another strong performance in the race," concluded Spies, who won one race at the 2009 Phillip Island World Superbike round.
Team-mate Colin Edwards rode for 19 laps on his way to eighth place, in a session led by new world champion Jorge Lorenzo, but said the conditions were among the worst he has experienced.
“That's got to be some of the worst conditions you'll ever have to ride in. The track was still wet, it was freezing cold and the wind was blowing at 900mph!" said Edwards. "But after the delay I guess we were just lucky to even get some time on track.
"The wind was pretty unpredictable and going into the first corner it was unbelievable. Once you pass the finish line it just blasts you from the right and I had to turn my handlebars while I'm going in a straight line just to fight the wind. And then you have to turn the handlebars back to brake. That is all happening at a fast speed and it is a pretty weird sensation.
"It was a session where the times don't really matter that much so we treated it like a wet test. We played around with all kinds of stuff on the bike. So as miserable as the conditions were, it was still a pretty worthwhile session and we learned a few things that can help us in the rain in the future, particularly with the balance of the bike."