Spies’ Crew Chief: “Ben will be really good in a couple of years”

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American sensation Ben Spies has taken the WSB paddock by storm winning three out of the opening four races of 2009 and the man that knows him best, his crew chief and mentor Tom Houseworth believes that he’s only going to get better.

Houseworth and Spies’ long term partnership has already netted them three AMA Superbike crowns, one Superstock and one Formula Xtreme title and judging by his pace on the world scene there is a lot more to come.

Speaking after his race two win at Qatar Houseworth said:

“It’s pretty much Ben. He’s a machine; we just get the bike set-up and send him off.

There’s a bit more to it but he’s at a pinnacle right now and in a couple of years he’s going to be really good.

“He’s thinking on the bike and doing everything right and that makes it easy for us. Believe me we’re not underestimating anyone, we’re just trying to go as fast as we can on the bike and tyres we have.

“Right now it’s good, but you’re only as good as your last race. We’ll just keep our heads down and keep plugging away.”

Having been working with full factory Yoshimura Suzuki’s in AMA, Houseworth is fully aware of the benefits of the new cross plane R1 is giving to his rider.

He said:

“It’s still a four cylinder so it has the same kind of turning characteristic, but the way the cross plane crank is changes the character a lot on the exit of the corner. Its better off the corner than a standard four and it really drives like a truck.

“In terms of set-up we’re still playing around with suspension to get it working. We’ve pulled things up from the past, it’s not completely separate and it’s a case of this does this so we’ll try something we learnt before.

“We’re tuning the bike a little bit like we have in the last few years. There are a few exceptions but each event we’re getting better and better.

“It showed here in Qatar because we were set-up pretty quickly straight out of the truck and that’s going to be important at Valencia for the next round too.”

Michael Guy

By Michael Guy

Sports Editor, former 250-racer and adventure rider