Motegi MotoGP: Ben Spies fifth in FP1 despite crash

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Ben Spies showcased his talent in impressive fashion again today at the Twin Ring Motegi, the American ending his first session at the Japanese venue with the fifth quickest time.

The 26-year-old didn’t let a slow speed crash on his Monster Yamaha YZR-M1 machine ruin his Twin Ring Motegi debut as he finished with a best time of 1.49.302.

That put him 0.055s ahead of home favourite Hiroshi Aoyama and the 2009 World Superbike champion said: “To be in the top five having never seen this track before is a really good.

"This track isn’t super technical and it doesn’t really help us much with all the stop and go sections that hurt us a little bit on speed.  It was a little tricky learning the track because the conditions don’t seem to be what everybody is used to. So it was even trickier for me trying to build up trust in some corners.

"I had the soft front tyre in at the start of the session and I wasn’t too keen on it. I came in for the hard tyre but the team wanted me to do one more stint on the soft and on the second lap of that run I got in deep at turn three.

"I had to let off the brake to gather it back up but I was trying to keep the bike on the track because I didn’t want to get into the gravel with all the rain we’d had yesterday. As soon as I got to the edge of the track I lost the front.

"I was only going really slow, probably like 10ks, but I landed really hard on my left elbow on the kerb. It’s not too painful and shouldn’t be a problem for me on the bike.

"It kind of proved that I didn’t like the soft front tyre but the hard one felt good on the spare bike and the rest of the session went pretty smooth.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt