Aragon MotoGP: Ben Spies disappointed to miss podium

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Ben Spies is still waiting to score his first podium finish in 2012 after he was unable to match the pace of Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Dovizioso in a battle for the top three at the Motorland Aragon yesterday.

The Texan held third for the opening three laps before German Stefan Bradl swept by, only for the LCR Honda rider to crash out on lap five.

The 2009 World Superbike champion then kept Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team duo Crutchlow and Dovizioso at bay for the next 10 laps as he went in search of his first podium in almost a year after his second in Valencia last November.

But he was unable to go with Dovizioso when the Italian passed him on lap 15 and he dropped back to fifth on lap 18 when Crutchlow pounced to try and hunt down his teammate.

After qualifying in fourth and running a strong third for so long, Spies thought he had a good shot at the podium.

But after finishing fifth he told MCN: “We ran the hard front tyre like everybody else and I don’t know if it was the track changing a little but we didn’t quite have the pace I thought we were going to have. 

“I wasn’t far off fighting for the podium. I set the pace for that fight in the race but when Cal and Andrea made the pass I couldn’t stick right with them. Over the last five laps I was just one tenth off but that little bit is what cost me.

“I’m not unhappy, just a little disappointed and I think I could have been a little bit closer. Cal and Dovi were just riding better than me at the end. I tried everything to stay with them but couldn’t do it.

“I wasn’t as comfortable as normal. Usually at the end of the race I can turn it up a bit but I didn’t have that today and every time I did I made a small mistake and couldn’t do the things I wanted to do with the bike.”

Asked where he was unable to match satellite duo Crutchlow and Dovizioso he added: “When we got off the brake and rolling through the corner I couldn’t keep the same corner speed and if I did I would run a little wide. I did the best I could to stay with them, I just didn’t have their pace over the last few laps.”

For full coverage of the Motorland Aragon MotoGP race and Silverstone BSB clash, see the October 3 issue of MCN.

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt