Ben Spies: 1000s easier to ride in rain than 800s

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The new generation 1000cc MotoGP bikes might have a lot more horsepower and are more of a physically demanding challenge to ride in the dry, but factory Yamaha rider Ben Spies says the new YZR-M1 is easier than an 800cc machine to ride in the wet.

The Texan got chance to ride the Yamaha 1000cc bike in rain conditions during last weekend’s final official test session at the Jerez circuit in Spain.

And he said the extra horsepower but smoother power delivery made the riding the 1000cc M1 in the rain an easier task than the peaky 800s.

Spies, who finished fourth fastest in the Jerez test, told MCN: “For me the 1000 is easy to ride in the rain because it has a lot more power. A lot of people would think it would be more difficult but the way the power is it is more linear from the bottom up.

“The 800 didn’t have much torque and it came on quite strong like a 250. So dry or wet, for me the bike is easier to ride in every way. Physically it is harder to ride because of stopping, changing and holding onto the damn thing coming out of the corners.

“But I think a big wide range of power makes it easier to ride. It is a lot of power but very smooth and consistent.”

The wet conditions in Jerez also gave the MotoGP field the opportunity to test new red lights, which are now compulsory equipment for rain.

The 2009 World Superbike champion added: “It is a good idea because last year in Silverstone it is all good when you are in the top three but when you are sixth or seventh like I was and the spray starts coming up it can get a bit dangerous and you can’t see.

“If an accident was to happen as soon as you hit the brakes you can’t see anything. It is something small but safer.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt