Brno MotoGP: Front grip issue costs Ben Spies podium

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A front tyre grip issue that hit several riders in the Brno race was picked out as the main reason for Ben Spies failing to record a second premier class podium finish.

The Texan was holding his own in an early fight with Spanish duo Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa when he suddenly started to encounter a front tyre grip problem.

Unable to remain a threat to the leading duo, Spies had to reduce his pace to such an extent that he quickly came under attack from Australian Casey Stoner.

Stoner was able to move by the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider with relative ease on lap nine and Spies had no answer as he had to settle for a lonely fourth spot in what was a largely uninspiring 22-lap race in front of a crowd of close to 150,000 fans.

The reigning World Superbike champion said: “I got a good start and was staying right with Jorge and Dani for a few laps and had a comfortable pace. But after about lap seven I starting having problems with the front that I hadn’t experienced all weekend.

"It’s a shame because while I know I definitely didn’t have anything to fight Jorge with because he is riding so well, maybe I could have stayed close to Dani. I’m not saying I’d have beaten him but I’d have been closer to put up a challenge.

"I had one second on Casey when I started having the problems but I had to slow my pace quite a bit and that was a bit frustrating because it meant he caught me quite quickly.

"I couldn’t run his speed so when he passed me I didn’t worry about trying to run with him. I'm not upset though because without that small problem I could have easily battled for the podium.

"I’d have loved the podium to give me a big lift before going home to Indianapolis, but I’m really happy with my recent performances and once again I was the top satellite team rider.”

Spies has now scored five top six finishes in the last six races and is just nine-points adrift of compatriot Nicky Hayden in the world championship classification.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt