Ben Spies takes best rookie prize
Ben Spies secured the coveted Rookie of the Year crown in yesterday’s Australian MotoGP race.
The Texan though admitted he’d not been overly concerned with claiming the honour, his fifth place in Phillip Island also ensuring he will finish top non-factory rider in this year’s premier class series.
The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider held third until lap eight when he lost three places as a result of a mistake in the braking zone for turn one.
Spies was then embroiled in a close tussle with San Carlo Gresini Honda rider Marco Simoncelli.
Confident he would be stronger on worn tyres, Spies pounced on lap 23 to secure his 11th top six finish in a splendid first full season.
The 26-year-old said: “I hate to burst everybody’s bubble but the rookie thing s not something I really set out to do. If I was second I wouldn’t have been upset because everybody was riding well. I’m focused on my own deal and worried about everybody finishing in front of me, and not who has been finishing behind me. It’s an achievement but not something I’ll go and have a beer for. I’m just happy to be fighting and we had a good race.”
For the full story on Casey Stoner’s fourth successive Phillip Island success and the future prospects of Spies, see Wednesday’s MCN (October 20).