Ben Spies will always remember the 2010 British MotoGP, the first to take place at Silverstone since 1986, after claiming his first ever grand prix podium on the very final lap of Sunday's race.
Making only his ninth MotoGP appearance, and sixth for Yamaha, Spies got stronger as the race went on and caught the three-way battle for second - between Andrea Dovizioso, Randy de Puniet
and Nicky Hayden
- with seven laps to go.
“I didn't expect to get my first podium so quickly, especially after yesterday which wasn't the best for me,” said Spies, who qualified seventh. “I got a decent start but once I got by Dani and Simoncelli I just tried to stay on the back of the group battling for the podium.”
By then the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider was himself coming under pressure from 2007 world champion Casey Stoner, but Spies wasn't flustered and waited until lap 17 of 20 before taking fourth from de Puniet.
“Once I realised I could stay in contention I just tried to save the rear tyre as much as I could and it all worked out,” he explained.
Already holding his best ever MotoGP position, Spies then had only fellow American Hayden separating him from a grand prix rostrum.
Ignoring the discomfort of a small fracture in his left ankle that he aggravated in a Saturday crash, the 25-year-old produced a daring overtake on Hayden at the fast Abbey Corner on the final lap.
“That last lap was difficult to pass Nicky but I got a really good drive onto the back straight and tried to pass him at Stowe Corner but he came back by. On the next straight I managed to get by him and then had to ride quite defensively on the last part of the lap,” said Spies.
“I was on the edge but I had to go for the podium and it worked out. It will be hard to duplicate this but right now I'll let it sink in and make the most of it. But on this day I can say I was the third best rider in the world and it is a good feeling,” concluded Spies, who beat his previous MotoGP bets by two places.