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How long for Ben Spies to win again?
29 June 2011
Less than a week after his first MotoGP victory, Ben Spies will start preparations for a second, when Friday practice begins for this weekend's Italian Grand Prix at Mugello.
Spies' win at the Dutch TT ended a sequence of 31 races without a first-time winner in the premier-class - since Andrea Dovizioso's victory at a damp British Grand Prix in 2009.
Yamaha and Spies will be hoping that the Assen victory opens the floodgates to many more, yet - of the eight riders that have now won an 800cc race - only half of them have won more than one race.
Dovizioso, like Suzuki's Chris Vermeulen (now in WSBK), has only stood on the top step of the premier-class podium once, while Loris Capirossi - a multiple race winner in the 990cc era - is yet to add to his Motegi 2007 800cc win.
The four riders that have won multiple 800cc races are Casey Stoner, Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa.
Rossi and Pedrosa were grand prix winners prior to 2007, while Stoner and Lorenzo - like Spies - took their first MotoGP wins in the 800cc class.
Partly due to injuries, Lorenzo - Spies' present team-mate - was forced to wait another 16 races for his second win, making 2007 world champion Stoner the only 800cc rider to follow-up his first victory in the same season.
How long Spies will have to wait remains to be seen, but the Texan can't wait to get back on track at Mugello.
“These few days off seem to have taken forever, when you finish a race like Assen you just want to get straight back in and try to do it again," said Spies.
"My first GP victory still hasn't sunk in properly; it was pretty special for me to be able to do it at such a legendary circuit and at this unique time in Yamaha's history. The red and white livery definitely bought me luck!
"I'm looking forward to Mugello, the track has apparently got a new surface with lots of grip so it should be pretty good for the bike and pretty exciting for the fans.”
Spies finished seventh for Tech 3 Yamaha in his first visit to the Italian track, last year.
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