Ben Spies declared himself delighted with his practice result at Jerez. even though he was only 11th.
The reigning Superbike champion has been a top-10 factor most of the time since switching to MotoGP with Tech 3 Yamaha this season, but the American felt today's performance was more than he could have hoped for as he was the only rider with no previous experience of the Spanish track.
"I'm super-happy with today," said Spies. "It's 11th and I'm over a second off the pace but after only one hour at this track I'm really happy and I don't think it could have gone too much better than it did. I'm only one second away from being really competitive – and my quickest lap was one of those when I didn't really nail it and could say it was a great lap.
"And, I didn't follow anybody either. I wanted to learn by myself and I know there is a lot of time to come from me and I'm sure we can make the bike better, too."
Spies said he was still coming to grips with the circuit, but was enjoying it so far.
"There is definitely more time I can find with the fast section of right-handers at the end of the lap," he said. "They aren't really hard but you've got to be in a good rhythm to really make up some time. Now I'm really looking forward to tomorrow, because I like the track. It's one of those tracks if you mess a turn up, three turns later you're still scratching your head trying to get it back. But that is good for me, because I really like flowing tracks and this is definitely one of them. I'm a lot more relaxed going into tomorrow knowing I'll be pretty competitive."
Colin Edwards was seventh today on Tech 3 Yamaha's other bike, 0.3sec faster than Spies.