Heroic Spies storms to fifth at Motorland Aragon Ben Spies produced arguably the best MotoGP performance of his blossoming career at the spectacular Motorland Aragon tack this afternoon, the Texan winning an epic battle with Andrea Dovizioso to...
Heroic Spies storms to fifth at Motorland Aragon
Ben Spies produced arguably the best MotoGP performance of his blossoming career at the spectacular Motorland Aragon tack this afternoon, the Texan winning an epic battle with Andrea Dovizioso to finish in fifth place.
Spies was in scintillating form throughout the 23-lap race that was played out in front of a partisan home crowd of just over 70,000 Spanish fans at the challenging 5.078km circuit.
A fast start saw Spies pounce on an early mistake by Dani Pedrosa to snatch fourth on the opening lap before he settled into fifth place, the reigning World Superbike champion looking threatening behind Nicky Hayden and Jorge Lorenzo as they tussled for third spot.
Spies had brilliantly hunted down Hayden and Lorenzo but just when he looked like hauling himself into a tense battle for third, a small mistake and a loss of rear grip cost him precious time.
He slipped back into the clutches of Dovizioso and what followed was a pulsating final ten laps that saw Spies produce some inspired riding on board his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1 machine.
Spies was riding at his brilliant best to keep Dovizioso at bay, the 26-year-old frequently able to produce stunning late braking moves to deny the tenacious Italian, who had a clear top speed advantage on the long Motorland Aragon straights.
Spies lost fifth place on the penultimate lap, only to engineer yet another awesome overtake to the position back at the first corner on the final lap. With both refusing to give an in ch, Spies' super human effort was rewarded, his pace and determination pushing Dovizioso into a mistake on the final lap. Today's fifth was Spies' ninth top six finish of a stunning rookie campaign and he remains firmly in contention for a top three overall finish in the standings on 131-points.
Today's race didn't go according to plan for Colin Edwards, the American making a poor getaway off the line before struggling to find his rhythm in the opening half of the race.
The 36-year-old passed Hiroshi Aoyama on lap eight and Mika Kallio three laps later to finish in 12th position, a result which keeps him firmly in the hunt for eighth place in the points standings.
Ben Spies - Position: 5thTime: +13.771
"That was a really good race. I like racing like that and I told my crew that even if I'd finished sixth it would have been the funniest race of the year for me. Dovi and me started going at it with four laps to go and it was fun. I wish it didn't end with him crashing and I'm sure he's mad he fell down but we were having a blast. We kept it clean and close and he just made a small mistake on the last lap. I must admit I wasn't too far away from making one myself because it was getting pretty hectic. On the last lap I got him at turn one and then he got me back at turn eight. Going into turn 11 I passed him but got in deep and when we went back to turn 12 I was ahead of him but I didn't have the right line. So he had to go around me but unfortunately he fell and that's a shame because he rode great. I did too and for a while I was pulling back Nicky and Jorge but fifth is still a great result. I wasn't far behind Jorge and I beat Valentino and I was the top non-factory rider again. And the points are good for my championship, so I'm looking forward to this big final run of races with a lot of confidence."
Colin Edwards - Position: 12th Time: +45.360
"It wasn't a good race at all and it's a strange feeling because I really like the track. But for whatever reason I'm just not fast enough and I haven't figured it out yet. I made a terrible start and that put me on the back foot immediately but in the first few laps I couldn't get into my normal rhythm. And when I was trying to make up some time I just made a few silly mistakes here and there and it felt like I'd never done a lap here before. Once I got into a rhythm my pace wasn't too bad but I'd lost way too much time in the first ten laps. I ran the softer front tyre but I don't think that had anything to do with it. I was more comfortable on the soft front all weekend because I couldn't get the hard option to turn. It was a bit hotter today but I can't blame that and truthfully I just wasn't fast enough all weekend."
Herve Poncharal - Team Manager
"I am almost lost for words to describe the way Ben rode today. It wasn't his best result of the season but it is certainly one of the best feelings because he rode an incredible race. He was pushing on the limit for the whole race and to beat Dovizioso was really impressive. I think it was a fight that the fans really enjoyed. It was clear Andrea had a little bit of an advantage on top speed but some of Ben's braking moves were phenomenal and he was very brave. I am very happy with Ben and he is getting better and better and this race from him was stunning. He never gave up and showed unbelievable fighting spirit. It was a difficult afternoon for Colin. He didn't make a good start and he couldn't find a fast rhythm in the first laps and by the time he found a decent pace he had too much to recover. He carried on giving his maximum but it was still a positive week end at the fantastic Motorland Aragon. This is a great venue for MotoGP racing and the paddock has been given a wonderful welcome. We are already looking forward to coming back next season."
-source: tech 3