Spies keen to race at Valencia, despite Estoril fall
1 November 2010 – Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha Team rider Ben Spies has said he still 'intends' to race at Valencia next weekend, despite suffering a heavy fall on Sunday in Portugal, which forced him to miss the penultimate round in the 2010 MotoGP World Championship.
The American, who had impressed all weekend on his first visit to the circuit, was confident of a strong race despite having never completed a single lap of the track in the dry.
However disaster struck on his second sighting lap when he came off at turn four. The 26-year-old dislocated his left ankle in the incident and also aggravated injuries suffered at Le Mans and Silverstone earlier this year. He will now travel to Spain where he will undergo MRI scans on the ankle.
“I knew the race was going to be tough because I had never turned a lap in the dry on this track. The first sighting lap was fine and on the second I just made a mistake at turn four. [Hiroshi] Aoyama and [Loris] Capirossi were in front of me and they nearly did the same thing. I just didn't have the left side of the tyre heated up enough and it spat me off,” Spies explained.
“I'm frustrated because I'm sure even in the dry I could have had a fairly good race. I've hurt my left ankle again and it's pretty painful right now.
“I'll have some more scans in Spain but my intention is to go to Valencia and race and hopefully do the test too. We'll have to wait and see but that's my plan right now.”
Team Manager Herve Poncharal added: “I was standing on the grid when Race Direction told me that Ben had crashed at turn four and I feel really sorry for him because all weekend he's done an incredible job.
“He'd never seen this track and in atrocious conditions he was always one of the fastest on track. When you look at the race it is not impossible to imagine Ben being capable of fighting for the podium again. We hope he'll be fine for Valencia and I know already that he wants to race.”