American MotoGP rider Ben spies has now matched his bike number in both of the opening rounds of the 2012 championship season, finishing a lowly eleventh in both outings. The amiable Texan was beaten to the line not only by his teammate Jorge Lorenzo who finished second, but also by both of the satellite Tech3 Yamaha bikes of Briton Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Dovizioso who finished Fourth and fifth respectively.As illustrated by my picture Spies had previously ridden in the satellite team on moving into the MotpGP class, and was promoted to a full factory ride after showing his ‘elbows’ to his rivals and posting strong results.
After suffering a series of practice and qualifying crashes towards the end of last season and the beginning of this the American seems to have lost a little of his edge, although he had initially made a decent start in Jerez only to be swallowed back up by the pack.
Spies apologised to his team for the poor performance, which he himself called ‘pathetic’ :
“I don’t really know what happened, I got off to a pretty good start from the line but after that I didn’t have a good feeling with the bike, it was a pretty pathetic race really for me. I’ve apologized to the team and we’ve had a long meeting about what I was feeling with the bike. I just wasn’t comfortable, I rode as hard as I could but the speed just wasn’t there. We need to find something because we can see the Yamahas are working well but my feeling with the bike is not great. It was a bad day at the office today”.
Spies has very little time to connect the dots and be competitive as back to back races mean the next race falls this Sunday in Estoril.
photo copyright Lisa Lewis