Ben Spies shrugs off late crash

Published: 23 February 2011

Ben Spies shrugged off a late crash on his factory Yamaha YZR-M1 as the Texan ended day two of the Sepang MotoGP test in fourth position.

The 2009 World Superbike champion crashed in the final stages of the day while seeking to better his quickest lap of 2.00.824 as track temperatures cooled down dramatically under heavy cloud cover in the afternoon session.

But the 26-year-old suffered a front-end crash at the Turn 7 right-hander before the back straight as he pushed too hard too soon on a new hard compound Bridgestone front tyre.

He told MCN: “We just looked at the data and I definitely did the same stuff I’d done the whole day, but the front tyre only had two laps on it and I pushed a little bit too fast and we know what can happen.

"It was a small mistake but I wasn’t getting over eager or doing anything crazy. But I started a lap too early getting up to speed. The bike wasn’t torn up too much and I am fine.”

Aside from the late drama, Spies was delighted with a productive day as he concentrated on the race set-up of his YZR-M1 machine.

Spies used hard tyres for most of the day and he was able to reel off a series of consistent laps during the hottest part of the day as air temperatures got close to hitting a punishing 40 degrees.

He added: “It was a really successful day. We tried a different chassis set-up to improve the rear grip and we definitely succeeded in that. I was quite fast on the hot track with many laps on the tyres so it was really good.

"It’s a pity that I made a small mistake at the end of the day but it is not a big problem and we gained a lot from today.

"Every time I went out, I was not at the top of the timesheets but we were consistently there with race pace and one of the quickest.”