Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Spies tests at Indy

At the beginning of July, MOTO GP hopeful Ben Spies, took part in the inaugural “Scooter” testing at Indianapolis in preparations for this year’s upcoming USGP round at the Speedway on September 14th, while the test was not open to any of the currently competing MOTO GP rider’s, Spies, the reigning two time AMA Superbike Champion was allowed to participate, since he’s only contesting the two United States rounds as a wildcard entry.

Spies who will race for Suzuki, took part with other riders as all five manufacturer’s were present at the test; Ducati, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha, with Spies making his MOTO GP debut earlier this year, when he was called up to fill in for the injured Loris Capirossi at the British GP at Donnington, qualifying 8th and finishing 14th.

Yet, in the recently concluded Laguna Seca MOTO GP race weekend, Spies qualified 13th, with elder Superbike competitor Jamie Hacking lining up at the rear of the field in 18th, while the top American rider was two time Laguna Seca MOTO GP winner Nicky Hayden, who started on the front row in P3, alongside pole sitter Casey Stoner, with “The Doctor,” a.k.a. Valentino Rossi in the middle of Row 1.

While Stoner and Rossi put on a mammoth Mano E Mano duel ahead of the entire field for the race win, trading the lead back ‘N forth several times... Honda’s Nicky Hayden struggled to retain his 4th place, while Spies (Suzuki) and Hacking (Kawasaki) dueled over 9th place... With Spies finishing 8th with Hacking finishing 11th, while Hayden wound-up 5th and Colin Edwards finished a disappointing 14th.

Meanwhile, at the sharp end of the grid, Rossi won his very first US race after almost throwing it away in The Corkscrew, while Stoner would have to settle for second after having fallen off his Ducati.

Yet Spies, who is currently leading the points in this year’s Superbike championship, hopes to become a full time MOTO GP piloto in 2009, joining the other Americans; 2006 MOTO GP Champion Nicky Hayden, Colin Edwards and John Hopkins, as Spies hopes to emulate Hayden’s success on the Grand Prix Scooters…

For Ben Spies comments about MOTO GP testing at The Speedway, see; Spies on Indy

By sheer accident, while surfin’ le Comca$t cable service, (Sunday) I originally landed upon the 250GP Motorcycle race from the Czech Republic, as I’d thought I’d catch a little MOTO GP action during an off weekend... Yet, I wondered if The Big Boyzs were on? And was quite surprised to tune into the MOTO GP race on CBS, also taking place at the Brno circuit... Of which apparently the riders had qualified in the RAIN!

Interestingly I learned that Nicky Hayden has a broken foot (according to announcer Greg White) and wasn’t competing. Well, actually Nicky injured his heel contesting a Super Moto event during the X-Games and the doctors said he could do further damage by racing this event. Hayden will instead stay home to recoup and plans to come back at the next round in San Marino.

And I also found out why I couldn’t find John Hopkins name on the Laguna Seca results, as he’s just returned to riding after having knee surgery... While Ben Spies has had some surgery of his own, riding in pain in the Mid Ohio Superbike races after having his appendix removed two days after competing at Laguna Seca.

Meanwhile, after current MOTO GP champion Casey Stoner crashed once again, the Aussie now trails The Doctor by 50 points, as Rossi cruised to a 17+ second victory in the Czech event...