Ben Spies has warned his MotoGP rivals that there is plenty more speed to come from him after going sixth quickest in opening practice in Qatar on Friday. The Superbike world champion said he had been deliberately taking it easy in the first official session of 2010, yet still ended up in the top six.
"I didn't want anything crazy to go on with it being the first race," he explained. "I wanted to be in the top 10 for the first session of the year because the last time I rode the bike I fell, so I just wanted to clear my head and get off to a good start.
"To be in the top 10 in the first session and right in sixth, I'm happy with that. We never really threw a lap time in and the session was pretty smooth. We went out on the hard tires and it was good. We did our quickest lap on the 21st lap, which is close to a full race. Every time we went out the times were getting faster."
Spies believes even taking the "best of the rest" spot behind the works Yamahas and Casey Stoner could be possible this weekend.
"Besides the top three guys, I think we've got pretty good speed, which is really important," he said. "We need to get some time on the softer tire so when qualifying comes we can use it to its full potential. I still think we've got a second at least with fresh hard tires on the bike, so I'm pretty happy about that."
His teammate Colin Edwards was only 12th at the end of practice, and far less content with his bike.
"Right now I'm not feeling all that comfortable," he said. "I feel like I'm chasing the bike on the front and it doesn't turn until I open the throttle. With this bike you can't ride it without momentum. That's one of its strong points and right now I can't take advantage of that.
"I think 12th is a bit of a false position, because I'm sure with some changes I've got another second in me."