Ben Spies snatched to his seventh consecutive top six qualifying result in Sepang and finished in 4th position for tomorrow’s MotoGP race. Spies was the first rider to dip under the 2.02 barrier with 15 minutes of the qualifying session remaining, and his final time was only 0.164s off the front row.
Colin Edwards missed the second row of the grid by just 0.067s and will start tomorrow’s race from 7th on the grid.
Both riders talk about the qualifying session for the Malaysian GP below:
Ben Spies 4th 2.01.993 – 26 laps
“I’m happy to be so close to the front row and it gives me a lot of encouragement for the race. From fourth on the grid it means another good start will put me in contention for a strong race. I did a race simulation this morning so at least I know how the bike is working in race set-up and I’m happy with it. I intentionally did the longer run in lower heat conditions just to see how I felt. It was still pretty brutal but I felt pretty good and it set me up for a good qualifying. This afternoon was the first time I really used the soft tyre. Everything went pretty good and I put together one decent lap time and then I had good lap going when I made a mistake at the final corner. I caught Colin and he was actually trying give me a tow down the back straight to help me out, but I was a little further back than he thought and by the time I got to him we were hitting the brakes and I missed my brake marker and ran wide. That lap would have put me on the front row for sure but I’m confident that if we raced right now I’d be in the top five and that’s what I’m looking for.”
Colin Edwards 7th 2.02.097 – 23 laps
“It was really hot out there this afternoon. Each time I was in the pits I was pouring water all over me and it’s going to be a tough race tomorrow in that heat. I would love to say I could have gone faster but I gave it my maximum and there wasn’t a lot left in the tank. But the bike feels really good and my guys at Monster Yamaha Tech 3 did a great job because we found a lot more grip today. The grip was so good in Japan last weekend that you kind of come here and expect a similar feeling, but we had to change everything on the bike to get some grip. We’ve definitely made the bike a lot better and I’m confident for the race. As for Ben, I was coming into the pits and I looked back coming out of turn four and I could see he was behind me. I thought I’d pick my pace up a little bit so I could perhaps tow him down the back straight and he might be able to get on the front row or even pole. But as I got closer to the final corner I guess he just missed his braking marker. Both of us ended up decent on the grid though and I’m looking forward to the race.”
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