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Spies Strikes Back to Score Home Podium at Indianapolis

Podium: third place Ben Spies, Yamaha Factory Racing
Podium: third place Ben Spies, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Yamaha Motor Racing

Home hero Ben Spies put in a superhuman effort today, coming back from ninth place to take a hard fought podium spot for the Grand Prix of Indianapolis. Starting from second on the grid the Texan rider was caught up in first a bottle neck of riders in turn one, then came together with Andrea Dovizioso in turn four, dropping him back to ninth as he fought to stay on the bike. Despite the setback Spies went on to deliver one of the star performances of the day, taking an impressive number of overtakes and setting some of the fastest laps of the race. He finally took the chequered flag in third place and stood on the podium to a huge applause from the US crowd.

Team mate Jorge Lorenzo’s race was a battle not with his competitors but with the resurfaced Indianapolis track. The reigning World Champion continued to be plagued with a rapidly wearing front tyre causing critical control issues from as early as lap four. Lorenzo battled on regardless, having made a great start he eventually had to relinquish position to team mate Spies and crossed the line in fourth, pushing to stay ahead of Dovizioso to the line.

The results of today see Lorenzo’s gap to Casey Stoner in first extended to 44 points with six races remaining. Team mate Spies picks up 16 points, moving up to fifth in the standings, just five points behind Dani Pedrosa in fourth. The team now head across the Atlantic with no break to the Grand Prix of San Marino at Misano next weekend.

Ben Spies - 3rd

“My actual start wasn’t too bad, just a couple of people got into turn one too hot and I got bottled in. I think Dovi came across in front of me in turn four and I was just glad to stay on the bike. I never even saw him. After that happened we just had to pluck away and not get ahead of ourselves. We rode well but just needed to be up there in the first four turns. I rode as fast as I could; it was tough to pass out there as we couldn’t get it done on the straight so we had to figure out some different spots. I was happy to be able to do that and still run good pace at the end.”

Jorge Lorenzo - 4th

“It's a shame; I thought I could reduce my gap with Casey at Indy but since the first practice I have had many problems with the asphalt and the front tyre. I've tried everything with my team to fix it, but we couldn't. After four or five laps the front tyre was destroyed. I saw the other three front riders and their tyres were perfect. I don't know if it was because of the track and I’m not the only one complaining. Now the Championship is much more complicated, but hope is the last thing you can lose. Next weekend we ride again at Misano, I looking forward to forgetting this result."

Wilco Zeelenberg

“A disappointing weekend, fourth place I think was the maximum we could get out of it. It was clear that even one lap more might have meant finishing fifth; the front tyre was completely gone, that’s basically the whole story. It was also disappointing that Ben was not able to fight for the win. He did a fantastic sixteen last laps but the first ten were very hard for him after the start. I think he could have fought with Casey. Anyway, third and fourth we have to swallow and we will look to Misano.”

Massimo Meregalli

“I think the race could have had a different final result, but the start compromised it. Ben made some great passes, I don’t think he could have done better under the circumstances. He did a good job, there’s nothing bad I can say. Jorge unfortunately fought all weekend with tyre management. He still managed to get fourth place and more valuable points for the Championship. Everything is still open and for sure he is a really tough rider and will go to Misano with good expectations.”

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Ben Spies , Andrea Dovizioso , Jorge Lorenzo , Casey Stoner , Dani Pedrosa
Teams Yamaha Factory Racing
Tags indy, lorenzo, spies, yamaha