Assen MotoGP: Ben Spies relieved after Silverstone crash

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Ben Spies has told MCN of the moment he feared he would be seriously injured in a high-speed crash during the recent rain-lashed British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

The Texan fell heavily at over 150mph at the Copse Corner while fighting inside the top six at Silverstone.

Spies was unhurt in the initial fall but he slid for over 100 metres before slamming into an unprotected concrete wall.

His back protector was badly damaged on impact, but the 2009 World Superbike champion was relieved not to have suffered more than severe bruising to his lower back.

Explaining the crash to MCN in Assen today, Spies said: “We made a change for the race and the bike was extremely difficult to ride in the rain and I was having a lot of problems. I made a mistake and it wasn’t so much the speed the crash happened at, but then I hit a wall and I was definitely still going about 40mph.

“It was a concrete wall and I hit it with my lower back first. I’m fine now but at the time I was quite scared because I had some numbness in the left side of my body. I was quite lucky and I’m super-happy with Alpinestars because the hit I took was pretty big. I’m pretty unhappy though about hitting an unprotected wall.

“Usually in the dry you’re never going to reach that far but crashing at that speed in the rain and then getting to the grass, you actually feel like you’re picking up speed even though you aren’t. I knew the wall was coming and I positioned myself to try and get my feet in first. I didn’t hit my head but it felt like I had a total concussion because as soon as I hit the wall my body stopped. I didn’t bounce off and when I lay there I was a little bit nervous but everything feels good.”

Spies was in such discomfort after the race he could barely walk for two days, but he said he expected no problems riding his factory Yamaha YZR-M1 in Assen this weekend.

He added: “I took a big impact and I’m sure there will be a little bit of pain this weekend because there was quite severe bone bruising. I might have a little discomfort on the bike but I’m not going to complain about that until I know how I feel. I’m still a little stiff and I wish I had it on camera because it would have been a good one. I’d liked to have seen exactly how hard I hit the wall because I hit it pretty good.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt