Assen MotoGP: Ben Spies won’t replace injured Loris Capirossi

Published: 26 June 2008

Suzuki has confirmed that reigning American superbike champion Ben Spies will not replace injured Loris Capirossi in Saturday’s Dutch MotoGP.

Italian veteran Capirossi is definitely out of Saturday’s 26-lap race having suffered a nasty puncture wound in his right arm following a big crash in this afternoon’s second free practice session.

The triple world champion was only returning to action today having missed last weekend’s British MotoGP at Donington Park following a broken right hand he suffered in Barcelona earlier this month.

Capirossi high-sided out and a footpeg pierced his right forearm, but Spies will not step in and ride his factory Suzuki GSV-R.

Spies replaced Capirossi just four days ago at Donington Park, and is in Assen having cancelled plans to fly back to America.

MotoGP rules would allow him to replace Capirossi despite one day of the weekend being completed. However Suzuki has confirmed Spies will not be joining Aussie Chris Vermeulen.

It was confirmed to MCN prior to today that Spies had initially been reluctant to ride unless he got to ride in all practice and qualifying sessions. With Capirossi declaring himself fit, Spies was just a frustrated spectator, and he will not be called up tomorrow with only two hours of track time remaining to learn the challenging and technical Assen circuit before Saturday’s clash.

Capirossi said: ““After this morning’s practice I was quite happy, because my hand was working well and there was no pain. I felt that I was riding quite well and settling back into things.

“In the afternoon I came in and put on a new tyre and the first lap out it felt quite good, but when I changed down from sixth to fourth gear and leaned on the left side I lost control and the bike jumped me out of the seat.

“The problem was that when I crashed the bike came on top of me and I get this hole in my arm. It was not easy when that happened, but I know I have great support all around me from many people. I will now work to get myself 100 per cent right and jump back on the bike as soon as possible.”

Factory team boss Paul Denning said he expected Capirossi to be fit to return to action on July 11 for the start of the German MotoGP at the Sachsenring.

Denning said: “When things are difficult it often seems to be the case that it gets more difficult before it becomes easier again. Loris knew it wouldn’t be easy to come back after 17 days since he broke his hand, but he immediately justified his decision to be here by being able to ride at a decent speed, to supply good feedback and know where we were heading over the weekend.

“I think it is necessary to make it clear that the crash was nothing to do with his recent hand injury and it was just one of those things that happens in racing. He was lucky that he didn’t break anything or cause more damage to the original injury, because it is a really fast place to crash.

“Unfortunately the bike got on top of him and ripped a sizeable piece of flesh from his right forearm. Dr Costa and his team performed an operation to close and stabilise the wound and Loris will now start his recuperation to get himself fit again – for sure it will be Sachsenring in two weeks time.”