Spies admits increasing frustration

Ben Spies admits he is becoming increasingly frustrated to have his winning momentum restrained by a series of problems after his race one win at Misano was followed by a glitch ridden second outing.

Starting off pole position for the first time in World Superbikes, Spies began the damp first race cautiously until he changed to his dry weather setting Yamaha R1 mid-way through.

Choosing the perfect moment to pit, Spies went on to produce a series of searing lap times to catch and pass long-time leader Shane Byrne before cruising to an eighth victory this season by a clear seven seconds, much to his delight.

“The first race was a great victory,” he said. “I was running pretty good early in the wet and saw that it was going to dry quickly. That's why I came in early to switch to the dry set up. It paid off big. That was one of the best runs through the field I've ever had. It was a rewarding win.”

Further reducing Noriyuki Haga's advantage in the overall standings, Spies' hopes of doubling up in race two ended by the conclusion of the opening lap when, arm aloft, he began slowing in a straight line.

Quickly diagnosing a slipping clutch, Spies spent the next few laps attempting to rectify the problem, but while he wasn't able to solve his issues entirely, he was still able to climb his way back up to a respectable ninth place.

“The clutch was just fried,” he added. “I couldn't accelerate at all. It was slipping so bad I just had to baby it out of the turns. Then I adjusted the hell out of it for several laps, trying anything to make it work. It was difficult trying to race and work on the bike at the same time.

“At one point I came up on [Shinya] Nakano and [Yukio] Kagayama and I couldn't get around them because the clutch kept slipping on me every time I came out of a corner. I tried to change my riding style by going in late on the brakes, but it was useless.

“After the clutch finally came in I was able to turn in some good laps,” he added. “I think I turned my best lap with two or three to go. I just wish it [the clutch] would have come in earlier. I know I could have done a lot better.”

Although his heroic fight back means he comes away from Misano five points closer to Haga in the overall standings, Spies admits it simply isn't enough.

“Five points just doesn't cut it. We've just given away too many points on mechanical problems. It's frustrating. Every time I seem to start getting some momentum and getting back into the championship picture, something like this happens. All I can do is go to Donington and start over again.”

Tagged as: Yamaha , world , Misano , Haga , superbikes , Ben Spies

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Arclight X

June 21, 2009 8:56 PM

Sweet Jesus It seems to me that his biggest competition is his bike and getting things sorted so it stays in one piece for race distance. Here's what I don't get, He has a full team of mechanics, engineers, data guys, assistant mechanics, etc.. etc.. all supporting him and the bike so he can concentrate solely on the business of riding it, and yet with all that support he cans two races (one because of a slipping clutch and another for a broken shifter arm?) If I brought my bike (also a yammy) into the local shop for servicing and rode off only to have my shifter arm or clutch malfunction I'd be fricken livid. This is a Pro team with Pro mechanics and staff. No excuse for this stuff.

terry - Unregistered

June 21, 2009 9:56 PM

I don't get the comment "some guy riding around in 5th place" Haga has won 6 races and when been on the poduim regularly when he hasn't won and that was every round but Miller. It's pretty obvious the Yamaha is a good bike and nothing needs to be said about Spies talent. I think Haga is doing a great job of not overriding when he doesn't have the best package. Not to long ago he'd thrown it down trying when there was no chance. Though not all his fault Spies is proof the consistancy matters. I'm a fan of both Haga and Spies and have loved watching them race. Strange things are happening in the Spies camp but this is racing and things happen.

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