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Thursday, April 05, 2012

‘Happy’ Ben Spies strong throughout


Ben Spies topped the Thursday timesheet on no less than five occasions during the 45-minute practice session for the season-opening Qatar MotoGP.

The Yamaha rider was leading with just over three-minutes remaining, before being shuffled down to an eventual fourth place.

But having stuck with the same set of tyres throughout, the Texan is feeling even more confident in the potential of the 2012 M1.

“I was happy with tonight, we were generally pretty close to the top,” said Spies, who eventually finished 0.5sec from Honda's Casey Stoner. “The bike seemed to work pretty well; we made just two small changes to it and kept the same set of tyres on the whole time.

“We made our fastest lap when the tyre had dropped off with almost race distance on it. I'm quite pleased with how the bike performed. We've tested at Sepang, Jerez and here and the bike has been good at all three so I'm happy with the bike, the team and myself.

“We've just got to keep rolling and keep the momentum going.”

Team-mate Jorge Lorenzo took second, with Ducati's Nicky Hayden also edging ahead of Spies in the closing minutes.

World Superbikes winner MSMW2012