Ben Spies says his recently-dislocated ankle will not be a problem in this weekend's Valencia Grand Prix after a competitive performance in Friday practice.
A crash on the reconnaissance lap prior to last weekend's Estoril race left Spies with the injury, but he was always determined to race at Valencia and was sixth quickest today. Although he had another accident in morning practice, he avoided damaging the ankle any further.
"I felt good this morning before I crashed," Spies said. "I was on the soft front tire and it is the one I don't like so much.
"I was happy to make it through the whole session on it but I got a bit too greedy and lost the front going into the second corner. I knew if I'd have swallowed some pride and slowed down or come in for the hard tyre it wouldn't have happened.
"At least I didn't aggravate the ankle, which is getting better as each day passes. Earlier this week it was really painful and I'm having a couple of issues back-shifting gears. But it is not going to be a problem for the race. I'm having lots of physio and when I'm not on the bike I'm using an ice pack a lot."
The American added that his pace in the afternoon had got him back on course following those incidents.
"After the crash in Estoril and what happened this morning, I needed to have a good session this afternoon just to build up some confidence and that's what I managed," said Spies. "I'm really happy too because my fastest lap was on the 25th lap on the hard rear tire option, so we've obviously got a good race setting already. Every change we made to the bike made it a bit better, so with a few more tweaks overnight we should be looking even stronger."
Spies' teammate Colin Edwards also impressed by going third quickest today.
"I'm really happy to have made such a good start," said Edwards. "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."