Saturday, June 25, 2011

MotoGP Assen: Dominant Spies had half a second in hand

Spies enters the final chicane on his way to a debut win

By David Miller
Image by Bonnie Lane

Factory Yamaha’s Ben Spies kept some pace in hand during his domination of today’s Assen MotoGP race and says he could have gone faster if the need had arisen.

The Texan former World Superbike Champion simply cruised away from series leader Casey Stoner after watching his team-mate Jorge Lorenzo tangle with Marco Simoncelli on the big TV screen and held the Australian at bay with half a second a lap in the bag.

“Once I could get into my rhythm and ride super-hard I knew I had the pace to keep them at bay, maybe not put time on them but where they couldn’t catch me. My fastest lap was a 1’35.2 in the middle of the race and I know we could have gone into the high 34s if we had needed to,” said Spies.

“I didn’t want to have to push that hard as we were on the softer front tyre which I don’t have a greta feeling with but also we could take more of a risk than Casey could because I knew Lorenzo had crashed so he wasn’t going to ride over the limit.

“Once I knew we had a four second lead and Casey had four seconds on Andrea, we had the podium wrapped even if the front tyre went to crap I was just afraid it might get to the point where Casey would catch me but he was also on the soft front so I just needed to be consistent and he would have to pull some miracles.”

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