Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s rookie, Ben Spies claimed his highest finish yet at the Indianapolis Grand Prix, with a mature ride to 2nd place on the podium. The American, in his debut season in MotoGP started in his first pole position in front of an expectant crowd. And he didn’t disappoint, getting off to a great start, building an early lead.
However, Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa was just too quick for Spies, and eventually caught up, and overtook the rookie. Despite a few hairy moments, Spies held on to 2nd to claim his highest finish in his MotoGP career. Speaking after the race, Spies said, “I’m really happy to have got my best result in MotoGP in front of the American crowd and at a track as famous as Indianapolis. I always said I wanted my best result in my home race, so it’s mission accomplished.
“After the pole position I got a great start and it felt good to be out front for the first time in MotoGP. But I didn’t have the pace for Dani today and he rode a great race. I’m happy because I didn’t make too many mistakes when I was out in front and I was consistent for the whole race. When Dani passed me I knew I couldn’t follow him, so I let him go and concentrated on keeping a gap to Jorge in third and that’s what I achieved. I can’t complain because it was a great weekend and to be top Yamaha rider when you look at who else is on that bike is pretty satisfying. It hasn’t sunk in yet that I’ve finished second in my home race. But I’ll enjoy it before I hop on a plane and try and do it again in Misano next weekend.”
The weekend didn’t go a smoothly for Colin Edwards. Being one of only 4 riders to choose the hard compound rear tyre, he was also the only one who could make it work properly. However with the higher temperatures the tyre didn’t give him the performance he needed. After changing the rear on Lap 11, he just couldn’t get the bike to work and eventually retired from the race.
“I went for the hard tyre because I’d done a 41.6 on that tyre on Friday and felt pretty comfortable and confident.” said Edwards, “I’d not been able to make the soft tyre last close to race distance. I’d started to have a problem after eight or nine laps with it, so with the temperature and humidity coming up I was getting excit ed about using the hard tyre. But I had a problem with edge grip from the start and I was having an issue turning. I was riding on the limit but way off the pace so I pulled in for the softer tyre and did a few laps and my lap times were immediately better. The tyre choice cost me today but congratulations to Ben. He’s just riding at an amazing level and second in this field is something to be proud of.”