Ben Spies ready for the unknown
Ben Spies is ready to start the toughest period of his first full MotoGP campaign when the premier class circus moves to the Far East next week for the Japanese GP.
The Honda-owned Twin Ring Motegi circuit is one of the tracks that the 25-year-old American has no previous experience at.
And the Japanese race kicks off a tough period for Spies, who made a stunning start to the 2010 season in Qatar last weekend when he surged through from 11th on the grid to fifth.
The next five tracks will all be alien territory for Spies and he will have only three hours and 20 minutes of track time available to learn the circuit while also finding a competitive set-up with his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1 machine.
The next track the reigning World Superbike has raced on won’t come until the MotoGP world championship hits Holland for the Dutch TT in Assen in late June.
After this period into the unknown, Spies will at least have previous experience of Laguna Seca, Brno, Indianapolis, Misano. Sepang, Phillip Island and Valencia.
And while the next few weeks might present a daunting prospect, Spies is ready for the challenge.
He told MCN: “It is going to be difficult because a few of the tracks I don’t know and have still got to learn. We’ll see what happens when we get to places like Japan and Jerez and other places that I haven’t seen before and see what happens. There will be tracks I’ll go to that I like and know that the results can be better.
"There will be tracks that we go that I’ve never seen before and the result isn’t going to be as good as it was at other rounds. It won’t be because I’ll be riding any worse but it might be that I didn’t get my head around it in the short time before the race. I’m not knocking World Superbikes but in MotoGP you can’t really just show up at new tracks and do the same every time.”