SCARPERIA, ITALY, JUNE 28 –
Yamaha race boss Lin Jarvis knew that Ben Spies would win a MotoGP race, just not the Dutch TT in Assen.Jarvis ultimately decides who rides for Yamaha and his decision to bring Spies into the family has been wildly successful. First came the 2009 World Superbike title, which came on a historic day for Yamaha; Cal Crutchlow clinched the World Supersport title at the same meeting as Spies and Valentino Rossi won the MotoGP Championship earlier that same day in Sepang, Malaysia.Jarvis watched as Spies had an impressive rookie MotoGP season, taking two podiums and a pole position at the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix. But he couldn't have predicted that his maiden win would come on another historic day for Yamaha, the weekend they celebrated their 50th anniversary in Grand Prix racing.
"I wish I was that clever [to predict Spies would win in Yamaha's iconic white, red and black livery in Assen, and with World Champions Giacomo Agostini and Phil Read watching from the Yamaha pit box], but I'm not," Jarvis said. "But I thought he could challenge to win some races this year. So I never expected or thought that he would be a championship contender this year [which Spies admitted after winning the race by over seven seconds]. But clearly he had the speed and the potential, which he showed last year, the education. So it was waiting to happen at the right moment and today was the right moment in many ways."I think both of our guys were on the pace today - could've been a one-two - but Ben has been consistently right on it all weekend and it was just a result waiting to happen."The result didn't happen for World Champion Jorge Lorenzo, who was taken down by San Carlo Honda Gresini's Marco Simoncelli early on the opening lap when Simoncelli crashed on the cold left side of his tire. Lorenzo remounted and made a spirited ride through the field to finish sixth."The only thing I'm a bit disappointed about is to see Jorge's race effectively - destroyed is not the right word - but significantly affected by a stupid error of somebody else and this is a pity," Jarvis said.Having won in the throwback livery, Spies was lobbying to race in the white, black, and red for the rest of the year. Jarvis laughed when told of Spies' hopes, but said it wouldn't happen. At the moment, the plan is to race in the historic colors at the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix at Laguna Seca. It wouldn't be surprising to see them worn at the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix."We're under pressure now," Jarvis said with a smile. "In Laguna, anyway, we'll be there. We only have a plan to do two races. To race the whole year is not possible. But who knows? Maybe if we get two wins out of it we might be encouraged to pull it out a few more times."No, it was great to celebrate the 50th in these colors, and to get a race win; it doesn't come much better than that with [Giacomo] Agostini here and Phil Read here and Ben's first win makes it even more memorable, perhaps. So no, it was great. We're really happy with that."
For full coverage of Spies' historic MotoGP win, see this week's digital edition of Cycle News at the following link.http://cyclenews.coverleaf.com/cyclenews/20110628#pg1