Sachsenring MotoGP: Ben Spies slowed by rear grip issues

By Matthew Birt -


 09 July 2012 08:39

Ben Spies is still searching for his first MotoGP podium of the season after he lost out in a rostrum battle with Andrea Dovizioso for the second time in eight days.

A badly chunked rear tyre cost Spies third to Dovizioso on the final lap in Assen and a lack of rear grip cost the Texan the chance to overhaul the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider in yesterday’s 30-lap clash.

The Italian moved into fourth on lap nine and brilliantly kept team-mate Cal Crutchlow and Spies at bay for the remainder of the race.

Dovizioso’s task was made somewhat easier by Crutchlow running off track at the first corner with just five laps remaining and he claimed his third podium in the last four races when Casey Stoner crashed out of a battle for the lead on the final lap.

Spies was less then 0.1s behind Dovizioso at the finish line but he was left frustrated by a lack of acceleration grip.

The 2009 World Superbike champion told MCN: “I didn't have enough grip or acceleration to get close to out brake Andrea and Cal, so I just had to wait and then Cal made a mistake but he didn't take Dovi wider so there was no room for me to get around them. 

"I just followed Dovi for the final two laps but couldn't get close enough on the exit of the corners. I could have tried something at the last corner but it probably would have put us both on the ground.

"We just didn't seem to have any grip on the side of the tyre like we had on Friday. In the end I was pleased to get the result and do the lap times that I did given how much grip we didn't have in the middle of the corner. Compared to them it was pretty bad and I had to ride the front tyre hard just to be there.

"Given what the bike was doing beneath me, I was surprised to be only six or seven seconds back from Jorge (Lorenzo) and just behind Dovi. But we got to change something because the setting was pretty horrendous. Where I was lacking is where you spend so much time on the edge of the tyre here.

"On full lean as soon as I touched the throttle I would lose traction and I lost all my momentum and two or three bike lengths and then try and close that gap down on the brakes. 

"When I was behind them I was pretty comfortable. Cal was always trying to go down the inside of Dovi in Turn One and I thought they might both go wide but it didn't happen.

"Once I got behind those guys I could see I was in trouble. I just did the best I could and hope for some mistakes.

"I'm a little frustrated because on Friday we had the same problem we had today and we didn't find a solution all weekend.”

For more news from the German MotoGP round, see the July 11 issue of Motor Cycle News.