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Spies: Next we look for lap times

With the main architecture of the 2011 M1 becoming clearer after the first Sepang MotoGP test, new Factory Yamaha rider Ben Spies is aiming to push for fast times when he returns to Malaysia at the end of the month.

That might give the impression that the former World Superbike champion was well off the pace this week, but in fact he finished the three-day test in fifth place, just 0.245sec from the best lap by Honda's Marco Simoncelli!

“The test went really well," said Spies. "It's been the first time working with my full team - some guys weren't here at Valencia - and it's been good.

"I have a new data guy, who I worked with in the past. He is brilliant. The majority of changes they made to the bike were exactly what I was asking for. I didn't need 3-4 lap runs. I'd just go out and it worked straight away.”

In terms of technical developments, the main aim for Spies was to evaluate the two engine options provided by Yamaha.

“This test was basically to decide which engine to go with and to work with the electronics,” he said. “We had two different engine configurations to chose from and go in that direction for the rest of the year. Me and Jorge [Lorenzo] came to the same conclusion on that, which Yamaha will work further on now.

“Then basically we worked on some different chassis settings and the electronics - making fuel consumption better for the race, while still going fast. We came up with a really good solution.

“Now we have a very good base and when we come back here [for the second test] it will be the first, for us, 'real' test where we have to start getting with it and make sure the speed is there.

“That's when we'll look to change the bike - geometry wise, handling wise - to get a lap time out of it and make it faster. But this test we really didn't focus on that.

“It's been successful. I had a small mishap [crash] on the first day, but came good and I'm happy with everything.

"We didn't blaze the lap times, but we're right there where we need to be.”

Spies took two podiums and one pole position on his way to sixth, and top rookie, in the 2010 MotoGP World Championship for Tech 3 Yamaha.

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Spies, Sepang MotoGP tests, 1-3 February 2011.
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February 04, 2011 1:52 PM

See with a lot of riders i'd be thinking, "yeah right" making the right sounds to cover up something but not with Ben. I've already tipped Stoner but it's going to be a very open title race methinks I honestly believe this is going to be one of the best seasons for a long time. More up front fighting for the win and more edge of the seat entertainment for us the fans

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