Ben Spies has explained his big unseen accident in the closing stages of Saturday's qualifying session for his home US MotoGP.
The Factory Yamaha rider had just broken into a top three dominated by Jorge Lorenzo, Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner when he was caught on camera staggering to his feet in a cloud of dust at Turn Three.
“Today was ok, we obviously had a crash which was unfortunate as I think we could have got on the front row,” said Spies, who announced on Tuesday that he will leave Yamaha at the end of this season.
“I was feeling really good I just maybe didn't let the right side of the tyre heat up to quite the right temperature and had a pretty big highside.”
Limping, wide-eyed and blinking as he returned to the pits, Spies nevertheless returned to the racetrack for the final minutes (pictured).
“We got back out and were able to do the same times as before the crash. I need to get some x-rays to check my heel as I took a big hit on it in the crash.”
Spies, hotly rumoured to be returning to WSBK with BMW next season, will start his quest for a first podium of 2012 - and first ever in the US Grand Prix - from the head of row two on Sunday.
“I haven't made a decision yet and it is still going to be some time until I do,” Spies said of the BMW rumours.
“Like I said two days ago when I make a decision I will announce it. Right now I don't know what I'm going to do. We have many offers from other people so we'll wait and see.”
Team-mate and title leader Lorenzo will start from pole.