News 31 May 2009

WSBK: Spies confident in race pace with Yamaha in U.S.

Yamaha Racing PR:

Yamaha World Superbike phenomenon Ben Spies made it seven Superpoles in a row today at the Miller Motorsports Park, he is now the only rider ever in the history of Superbike to take seven consecutive poles in a row. Spies had spent the first qualifying session and free practice working and fine tuning the set-up of the bike, as the Superpole heats started, it was clear his hard work with the team had paid off as he laid down the fastest lap of each session to comfortably end on pole position for tomorrow’s races. It was a fitting scene as thunder and lightning broke dramatically over the circuit as the ‘Texan Terror’ showed everyone how it should be done.

Team-mate Tom Sykes had struggled with his set-up during the morning practice and following qualifying session, ending with a 22nd position start on the grid for race day. After making several changes Sykes went out again for the afternoon free practice session and found the set up he was looking for. Finding another second and a half on his earlier times he was running in tenth for the free session. Although not an ideal start position the new settings will give him a good race pace and the opportunity to fight through the pack.

Ben Spies

Ben Spies, Yamaha World Superbike Team (1st, 1’48.344)
“It was a good set of sessions for us, the last few minutes of Superpole there was some drops coming down and I was pretty nervous but we had worked hard in free practice and qualifying on the tyres we were on and just went into Superpole and stuck to the plan and everything worked out. I think we’ll have a good race pace for tomorrow, I think there’s a few guys who have good pace as well so I think the race is going to be pretty interesting. “

Tom Sykes

Tom Sykes, Yamaha World Superbike Team (22nd, 1’50.807)
“In qualifying we really missed out, we didn’t find the right direction fast enough and unfortunately didn’t get to Superpole which was a big shame. For the final free practice we found an area of real improvement, the time was good enough for Superpole. So hopefully we can forget today and although we’ve got a bad starting position we can come out tomorrow focused and make the most of what we’ve got.”

Massimo Meregalli, Yamaha World Superbike Team Manager
“One more pole for Ben, seven in a row is fantastic. The pace is really good and for sure we are able to fight for the race win tomorrow. I think there are two or three guys who will be tough so it should be a good race. On the other side of the garage Tom improved this afternoon with a better set-up in free practice, he made up almost a half second so this will give some motivation to push very hard tomorrow and fight to make up positions. In the end it’s all about race day so lets see what happens.”