Yamaha’s Ben Spies ends his first season as a Yamaha factory rider at this weekend’s Valencia season-ender, while teammate Jorge Lorenzo is sidelined with continuing complications from the finger injury suffered in the October 16 Australian Grand Prix.Spies sat out the Malaysian Grand Prix, a week after Phillip Island, with the lingering effects of a crash in qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix. He crashed again in practice in Malaysia. From Malaysia he flew to his European base in Lake Como to recover for the final weekend.
“Better, a lot better,” Spies said about his physical condition. “I needed a rest. The Australia one was pretty big, but right now my condition’s the least of my worries. Just I want to get through this last race, do the best I can for Yamaha, see everybody, then move on to the test [of the 1000cc Yamaha YZR-M1 on Tuesday and Wednesday after the race].”Spies isn’t alone in wanting to see the end of the season, all the riders are hurting, he said. “If it’s not physical, it’s mental. Nobody’s 100 percent right now, so just need to be strong and do the best we can this weekend and get it done and dusted.”Reflecting on the accident that took the life of Marco Simoncelli, he said that when he thinks “about the last couple of weeks and what’s happened, it’s hard to come to the last race with the emotions we feel.”And I think everybody knows what Marco would want is us to race. It’s, I think, everybody’s morale is a bit down right now. It’s the last race. It’s hard, but we just gotta, ya know, pull together and do the best we can and put the best race on we can for him and everybody else. But it’s, yeah, it’s a tough one to send off, but, you know, we got to do what we got to do.”