Spies Talks About His Sunday
The following is from Ben Spies’ publicist…It was a mixed day for Ben Spies at the Misano World Circuit on Sunday. The Texan won spectacularly in the first race that started with a wet track and ended on a drying surface. The race was filled with drama with Spies running up front then falling back to ninth after pitting to change bikes, then blazing his way to the front to a 7.9-second victory in perhaps the best charge of the year.In the second race Spies was in the leading group on the first lap, but then a problem dropped him all the way back to 17th. The clutch on his factory Yamaha overheated and was slipping drastically under acceleration. After making manual adjustments on the fly Spies then started another rush forward, albeit less dramatic race one, and was able to manage a ninth, at times being the fastest rider on the track.In sum the Misano race weekend was a net positive one for Spies. He was able to shave five points from Nori Haga’s series points lead. He heads to Donington Park next Sunday (June 28) in second, 48 points behind Haga. He came into Misano 53 points back.”The first race was a great victory,” Spies said. “I was running pretty good early in the wet and saw that it was going to dry quickly. That’s why I came in early to switch to the dry set up. It paid off big. That was one of the best runs through the field I’ve ever had. It was a rewarding win.”The sweet taste of victory ended with bitter disappointment with the race two clutch problem. The frustration in Spies’ voice after the race was obvious.”The clutch was just fried,” Spies sighed. “I couldn’t accelerate at all. It was slipping so bad I just had to baby it out of the turns. Then I adjusted the hell out of it for several laps, trying anything to make it work. It was difficult trying to race and work on the bike at the same time. At one point I came up on [Shinya] Nakano and [Yukio] Kagayama and I couldn’t get around them because the clutch kept slipping on me every time I came out of a corner. I tried to change my riding style by going in late on the brakes, but it was useless.”Finally in the last 10 laps the constant adjustments by Spies paid off and the clutch started working.”After the clutch finally came in I was able to turn in some good laps,” Spies explained. “I think I turned my best lap with two or three to go. I just wish it [the clutch] would have come in earlier. I know I could have done a lot better.”Spies was not comforted by the fact that he made up five championship points on Haga, who finished fifth and third.”Five points just doesn’t cut it,” he protested. “We’ve just given away too many points on mechanical problems. It’s frustrating. Every time I seem to start getting some momentum and getting back into the championship picture, something like this happens. All I can do is go to Donington and start over again.”In the U.S. the Misano’s rounds can be watched back to back on SPEED starting at 3:30 pm Eastern.