Assen MotoGP: Ben Spies plays down podium prospects

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Ben Spies is keeping his feet firmly on the ground as he bids to fight for a second MotoGP podium at the iconic Assen circuit in Holland this weekend.

Brimming with confidence after he claimed a brilliant maiden rostrum at last weekend’s British GP at Silverstone, the Texan moved quickly to keep a lid on expectations in Assen today.

The 25-year-old took a thrilling victory in the first World Superbike race at Assen last year and he is confident of a successful weekend on board the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine. 

But he said it would be difficult to replicate his stunning third place at Silverstone last weekend when he passed fellow American Nicky Hayden on the final lap.

The reigning World Superbike champion said: “It is good to come here at a track that I know and I do like and I’m looking forward to it. I think the bike will work good here and I’ll try and take some of the confidence from last week. It will be hard to duplicate that or fight for the podium but we’ll just continue learning and try and take everything we can from it and try and put it into this weekend.”

Spies said his first premier class podium had come much quicker than he anticipated and he added: “I thought it was possible in the first year but it was going to have to be a picture perfect weekend and maybe some bad luck for other people. I knew it was a possibility but the first year would be really tough.

"The way the race went last weekend for us when we had to make some good passes and catch up a little bit was surprising to me but we were able to do it. It is going to be hard and now that it has happened people are going to expect it more often. I’m more realistic and know how difficult it was and how everything has to be right.   

"But I do like this track and I’ll push at 100 per cent just like I did in Jerez and Mugello and Le Mans. Silverstone was a good weekend and we’ll see where we end up Saturday. I knew it was going to be tough and that’s why a lot of people at the beginning of the year thought I was downplaying everything but I think I was just more realistic because I’d done races and done wild cards and I knew how difficult it is.

"I didn’t expect to be top five and I know it is special when it is top five. Just because I was on the podium last week doesn’t mean it will be like that from here on out.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt