New factory Yamaha rider Ben Spies laughed off a 'ridiculous' fall early on the first day of 2011 MotoGP testing at Sepang.

The accident limited his testing options, but not his speed, as the Texan returned to set the second fastest lap time before packing up early.

"I have no clue [laughs]!" Spies said of the fall. "I was on my out-lap, I think it was my third lap, and I just lost the front. It put a damper on testing some things, but actually it made the day easier because we didn't concentrate on anything, just rode.

"It was just a ridiculous lowside. I told the guys 'I was going slow, I don't even know what the hell happened'. But we got straight up to speed and everything was fine."

Spies rode for 29 laps - his fastest of 2min 2.332sec being his 24th - before calling it a day at around 4pm. Testing finishes at 6pm.

"It's easy to overdo it on the first day so we did just enough laps to get my head back up to speed, because we have a lot to look at for Yamaha and Bridgestone tomorrow and the next day," he explained.

"Today we went through two sets of tyres, worked on a little bit of the electronics and really they just let me ride.

"It was my first day with the new team and they were fantastic. We just took it slow, didn't skip over any details and were done early.

"We ended up going faster than we did in the race. I'm confident with the team and the bike package overall is much better than last year. And there is more to come for it and from me too.

"Yamaha has a great motorcycle. It won the world title and has won so many races. Things change fast in this sport, but I'm 100% that Yamaha is going to have a great bike for the rest of this year."

Spies was the top Yamaha rider by the time he packed up, although team-mate and reigning world champion Lorenzo later moved ahead of him and is presently leading the timesheets.

Spies revealed that he and Lorenzo will develop each part of the 2011 M1 together and he expects greater cooperation than had been the case during the Lorenzo/Rossi Yamaha era.

"We're both working over the same stuff. Our opinions might differ, but we're going to try and come up with one solution for the bike at Qatar," he said.

"We're able to look at everything piece-by-piece and evaluate with our own opinions, instead of me doing the chassis and him doing the engines.

"The team is going to be a bit different from last year. There's going to be a lot more team work with the development and that's important. I've said that to Lorenzo, and I'm pretty sure he's open to it.

"When we're racing he's the first person I want to beat, but if we can make the bike better together it will make it that much easier to be at the front."

The main weakness of last year's title winning M1 was a lack of power relative to Honda and Ducati, something Spies feels has been addressed by the factory.

"Definitely the bike has got more power" he said. "We've got a couple of things to look at with two different engines, but as of right now we have a good baseline and hopefully it's going to get even better.

"We're going to test something hopefully again in two weeks and when we get to Qatar it would be nice to have something even faster there.

"But definitely they've made a step in power. A big improvement. It's much better for me for sure, coming from Tech 3 to now.

"Everybody could see that last year the Yamaha was down a little on top speed, but I don't think it's going to be such a disadvantage this year."



Loading Comments...