Factory Yamaha's Ben Spies made a 'massive' change to the front-end geometry of his bike for today's opening MotoGP free practice sessions at Estoril gleaned from examining data from the rest of the Yamahas in the paddock which enabled the Texan to go second fastest behind Casey Stoner.
Spies wouldn't give away what he had done but said it would never have worked on an 800 due to the different weight distribution between the bikes. He did say the change had taken weight off the front tyre - when he usually likes more placed on the contact patch - and that when it was tried last year, it didn't work.
"There has been a riding position thing but biggest change has been the front end of the bike and it's a massive change in geometry. It's just getting some feeling with the front. Today we saw the laptime, it's not bad, it's not great but it's much better than it was in Jerez and I wasn't riding any harder, the bike is just working," said Spies, speaking to bikesportnews.com this evening.
In MotoGP, when the bike is not working well and you're not confident, you're light years off the pace. Today, for one, the bike was faster, I had more feeling and physically it wasn't as hard to ride so that's a good example showing that if your bike is off there isn't anything you can do. The front end for me is 100 per cent better than it was last weekend."