DERBY, ENGLAND, JUNE 22: Ben Spies will not replace Loris Capirossi on the Rizla Suzuki for this Saturday’s Dutch TT at Assen.
The decision to race was made by Capirossi himself, after consulting with Dr. Claudio Costa at today’s British Grand Prix, and endorsed by the team. Capirossi missed today’s race with a broken right hand, the result of a crash in the previous Catalunya Grand Prix.
Spies was originally going to Assen as a possible fill-in if Capirossi felt he couldn’t ride. But Capirossi made the commitment to see the weekend through. Spies was apprised of the decision a few hours after finishing 14th in his MotoGP debut at Donington Park.
Rizla Suzuki team manager Paul Denning said, “Yes, Loris (Capirossi) made that decision following meetings with Dr. Costa today. He’s also got a lot of experience. He knows his own body and what it’s capable of. And we don’t want to have a situation where it’s unfair expectation on Ben (Spies). Ben’s had a great bonus in the run-up to the Indy test riding here this week. But we’ve still got ten more races to do with Loris and you certainly don’t want to de-motivate when he’s got that much passion to do the job by keeping him at home.
“He says he’ll go there and he’ll do the whole weekend irrespective and he’ll be doing the race. And he wants to ride. And as our contracted rider I don’t think we can do anything other than accept that and applaud his enthusiasm.”
Capirossi showed up at the Donington Park track on Saturday with his right hand still in a plaster cast. Denning said Capirossi’s plan was to remove the cast on Wednesday night, the eve of Thursday practice, and wrap the hand in supporting tape.