Valencia MotoGP: Ben Spies sixth after early crash

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Ben Spies shrugged off another crash to end the opening day of the final MotoGP race in Valencia in sixth position.

Limping heavily after dislocating his left ankle in a sighting lap crash just moments before the start of last Sunday’s Estoril race in Portugal, the 26-year-old was lucky not to aggravate the problem further when he crashed at the second corner this morning.

He was only ninth fastest this morning but bounced back superbly this afternoon, the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider in constant contention for a top three.

He was as high as second in the final ten minutes of the 45-minute session but had to settle for sixth. His best lap of 1.33.528 was only 0.062s slower than Edwards in third as less than a second covered the top ten today.

The 2009 World Superbike champion, who is vying for sixth place in the overall rankings with fellow American Nicky Hayden said: “I’m happy with the way today ended because I’m sixth but really close to Colin in third.

"I felt good this morning before I crashed. I was on the soft front tyre and it is the one I don’t like so much. I was happy to go through the whole session on it but I got a bit too greedy and lost the front going into the second corner.

"I knew if I’d have swallowed some pride and slowed down or come in for the hard tyre it wouldn’t have happened. At least I didn’t aggravate the ankle, which is getting better as each day passes.

"Earlier this week it was really painful and I’m having a couple of issues back-shifting gears. But it is not going to be a problem for the race.

"After the crash in Estoril and again this morning I needed to have a good session this afternoon just to build up some confidence and that’s what I managed.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt