Spies: That's just how it goes

Ben Spies was left with mixed emotions following the fourth World Superbike Championship round at Assen after seeing his outstanding victory in the opening race of the weekend undermined by an early crash in the second.

Spies' day started superbly, the American winning the race with a daring final lap move on Noriyuki Haga, one that came after he had seemingly slipped out of contention with only five laps of the race remaining.

However, while he admits he was ready to settle for third, the Yamaha rider became stronger as Haga and Leon Haslam began to fade, allowing him to launch a late race challenge.

Prevailing in an enjoyable series of overtaking moves with Haslam, Spies quickly caught Haga before outfoxing him on the run into the high-speed turn 15 kink on the final lap before crossing the line a 'spectacular' winner.

“In the race the bike didn't seem to have the same feeling it had in practice,” he said. “I ran as hard as I could, but realised it might be a tough day for me when I got passed by Haga and Haslam.

“With about five laps to go the bike started coming around and I thought I might have a chance. Haslam and I went side by side through three turns and I was fortunate to get through. It was good clean racing.

“I got behind him on the last lap and just waited for an opportunity to present itself. I got good drive out of the fifth-gear right hander and snuck inside of him and that was it. It felt pretty spectacular to win like that.”

Beating Haga in a straight fight around an iconic biking circuit, Spies was feeling confident of repeating his feat in the second race.

However, he lasted no more than a single lap after clipping the grass on the entry to the first turn and being sent into a high-side. With his bike catapulting over the barriers, Spies' injuries were limited to his pride, rather than his body.

“The bike felt very normal and I was able to get into the lead,” he said. “On the second lap coming out of [turn] one I just barely touched the edge of the track on the grass and had a big high-side.

Nonetheless, Spies was feeling philosophical about the situation, saying 'that's just how it goes'.

“It was unfortunate because I felt like I was riding well and the bike was great. I mean I barely got the bike off the edge and that was the end of the race. That's just how it goes.”

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Spies, Dutch WSBK 2009
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Sick Cylinder - Unregistered

April 26, 2009 9:27 PM

I don't think Spies is a win or bin guy, but maybe he's trying too hard - perhaps like Bayliss when he first came into WSB - he crashed a few times before he found the limit - Fogarty also did - in '93 he won a lot more races, but Russell took the championship. Don't forget it's his first season on Pirellis - he lost the front at the previous round. This round he rode off the edge of the track onto the grass on the inside of the corner - but it was his first time at Assen. Both rounds a small error, but with big consequences. whether he wins or loses this year he has impressed me as much as Bayliss and Fogarty and other greats did in their first season in WSB.


April 26, 2009 9:18 PM

Spies is not a bin or win rider. He didnt win his AMA titles crashing. You cant the point spread is to tight. Plus Mladin would of given him no quarter... This is the most I ever recall Spies crashing to be honest. The pace is clearly faster then AMA because is pushing himself a lot more then in the past. When he stops crashing I bet the WSBK paddock will be a little scared. Also AMA never had a Superpole format til this year... that should scare people to how fast he adapted. Guy is at tracks he has never ridden like Assen and he is taking wins... that should scare people too...

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