Valencia MotoGP: Colin Edwards desperate to help Ben Spies
Colin Edwards told MCN he will be doing all he can to ensure Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team-mate Ben Spies finishes the 2010 MotoGP campaign as top American rider and sixth overall.
Spies is tied on 163-points in the race for sixth with factory Ducati rider Nicky Hayden going into the season’s final race in Valencia on Sunday.
And Texan Edwards is determined to help Spies and return a favour the 2009 World Superbike champion did for him in the corresponding race a year ago.
Spies made his Yamaha debut in Valencia 12 months ago and his brilliant surge to seventh ensured Edwards claimed a top five championship finish over Andrea Dovizioso.
Edwards wants to pay back his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team-mate and he made the best possible start in free practice today, the 36-year-old finishing in third place on the timesheets.
Spies was sixth but only 0.062s adrift of Edwards while Kentucky rider Hayden was tenth but just over a tenth further back.
Edwards said: “I owe Ben big style for last year so I’m riding this weekend to help him get that sixth place in the championship. That would be awesome for a rookie and he’s already going to be the best non-factory rider.
"So while I’m looking to finish on a high myself I’ll be keeping an eye on him and Nicky.”
Edwards put his own excellent performance down to a series of set-up tweaks that helped turning performance with his YZR-M1 machine.
He knocked 0.6s off his morning time in the second session and said: “I was only 11th this morning but knew my guys had a handle on how to improve the bike and this afternoon it just felt so easy.
"All the problems I've had all year with the bike not turning and running wide disappeared. I could get into the corner hard on the brakes, carry lots of lean angle, open the throttle and the bike would just turn like it should do.
"It's all too little too late but I didn't feel like I was out there taking a lot of risks and I was nearly six-tenths faster this afternoon.
"Every lap I did was between 33.4 and 33.6 and that's consistently over half-a-second faster than what I was able to do here last year.”