WSB’s Defining moment number 7 – Best rider

Published: 01 January 2010

It wasn’t just Ben Spies’ domination of Superpole and his 15 race wins that made him so special. In 2010 Spies had to deal with adversity and fight his way back from an enormous 88 point deficit before finally clinching the title. 

Arriving from America as three time champion we all new Spies was going to be quick, but on a new bike, tyres, race series and up against world class competition, nobody expected him to become champion.   

From round one in Australia he made his intentions clear by setting pole (first of ten during 2009) and went onto win race two. During the season he dug deep to claw back big points to Haga and at the final round showdown, the 25 year old American kept his cool, did what he had to and won the title at his first attempt.  

On route to victory he also had to overcome with some significant set backs one of which was thanks to Xerox Ducati rider Michel Fabrizio at Brno. 

Just six laps in to what promised to be another epic race and Xerox Ducati man Michel Fabrizio wiped out race leader Spies at the final chicane under braking.  

With runaway series leader Noriyuki Haga riding injured following his Donington crash, the Brno round was Spies chance to claw back some big points, but Fabrizio put a stop to that.  

The young Italian literally grovelled on his knees for a pardon from Spies, but it took a while before Spies gave forgiveness. At the time of the incident he told MCN that he wanted to rip Fabrizio’s head off!

It wasn’t just his on track rivals to contend with the he had issues from within his own Yamaha team. The foe pa of the year has to go to the factory Yamaha team who essentially denied Ben Spies of a 25 point maximum in race one at Monza.  

Less than 500 meters from the end of the 64 mile race, with Spies leading, his R1 began to splutter and the American had to watch rider after rider storm past on his way to the finish line. Running on vapours Spies crossed the line in 15th place to take one point.  

The situation was compounded by the fact that Monza is the Yamaha teams home track and they’d already tested there earlier in the year. A mistake that simply shouldn’t have happened.