MONTEREY, CA, JULY 23 - The Monster Tech 3 Yamaha boys weren't gifted with the cure-all engines that would magically shoot them to the top of the MotoGP timesheets today, but both ended the first practice session at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca with increased optimism of their chances for success in Sunday's Red Bull United States Grand Prix.Ben Spies was the faster of the two Texans, the MotoGP rookie ending the day fifth with a best of 1:22.640. That was .941 of a second slower than Marlboro Ducati's Casey Stoner, the Australian leading the way on day one. Colin Edwards, meanwhile, ended the day eighth - 1.3 seconds behind Stoner."I don't know 100 percent, but maybe an electronics package or whatever," Edwards said when asked what was new in his M1. "The engine doesn't really feel a whole lot different, like it's more power. But I believe we have a little more revs than we had, so our gear ratio is a little bit shorter, a little bit tighter. And that, in turn, helps with acceleration. It doesn't really feel like a big difference, but anything is better than nothing. We had one hour today and we had tires and we're changing the suspension and we're playing around. We never extracted fully everything and the lap times were still not terrible. So I think we can definitely make it better tomorrow - just through perfecting things and carrying corner speed. Playing with the bike a little bit. We can definitely get it better."Spies was also upbeat about his prospects for tomorrow and Sunday."We got something better, but it's never exactly what you want," Spies said. "But that's not the problem right now. We have to work on some setup stuff. We were struggling with that. I was happy with how the setup went We were struggling with that. I was happy with how the session went for how I felt on the bike. Casey right now is rolling right along, but I think we have good speed here. I think we just need to work on some small stuff. It's a really flowing track and when you don't have the bike perfect it makes it pretty tough. Hopefully tomorrow morning we'll figure something out."

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Paul Carruthers | Editor

Paul Carruthers took over as the editor of Cycle News in 1993 after serving as associate editor since starting his career at the publication in 1985. Carruthers has covered every facet of the sport in his near-28-year tenure at America's Daily Motorcycle News Source.

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