From my perspective, Spies' R1 wasn't the fastest machine down Algarve's long front straightaway, but its crossplane-crankshaft engine had more torque than I ever imagined could be derived from an inline-Four. The new firing order let me open the throttle earlier and carry low wheelies off a couple of corners. Compared with the Yamaha of Noriyuki Haga that I rode last year in Portugal, Spies' R1 felt less front-end biased; using his long arms and legs, he was able to transfer more weight over the front of the R1 than could Haga with his more abbreviated structure. So, with more weight focused over the rear of the bike, Spies' bike felt light and lively up front. That, combined with light steering-damper resistance, allowed the Yamaha to shake its head under hard acceleration, reminding me to keep a loose grip on the bars and plenty of weight over the front tire. Feedback while braking was amazing, and I could make aggressive steering inputs with pinpoint accuracy.