Two Americans ran off the Motegi Twin Ring at the same turn early on during Round 14 of the 2010 MotoGP Championship, but the run offs weren’t related, according to the riders.
Monster Tech 3 Yamaha rider Ben Spies says he ran off at Turn 5 during the second lap because Rizla Suzuki rider Loris Capirossi braked hard on the GSVR, and the Texan had to hit the curb and exit the track to avoid a crash.
As for the other rider, Ducati Team Nicky Hayden, he reported going into the turn too deep, and then he followed Spies into the gravel. Spies and Hayden rubbed before rejoining the race at the back of the pack; Spies got back on the track first.
After all was said and done, Spies would battle his way up to eight.
Ben Spies says: “Considering everything that happened this weekend with me not being totally happy with the bike and then running off early on, I’m extremely happy to finish eighth, especially coming from 15th. We made a big change to the bike before the race with the geometry in the front and I ran a rear shock that we hadn’t run all weekend and i t was a big step.”
“It was a big gamble but it paid off. The front was a bit better in the turns and we definitely had better traction and it made the bike a bit easier to ride and more confidence inspiring. Going into turn five I think Loris was in front of me and it seemed like he braked really, really early. To avoid hitting him I had to move over and get on the curb and run off track.”
“After my pace in the warm-up I was wondering how I would be able to fight with anybody but I made some passes and I never gave up. I rode as hard as I could and while it wasn’t my best result it was still a really good race. Even coming through the field I was still turning some really fast laps that without the mistake would have given me a chance of running in the top five.”
Hayden would return on the track in dead last, but would move up four positions to finish 12th at the end.
Nicky Hayden says: “We haven’t had the best of weekends so we made a few more changes to the bike going into the race than we normally would and actually it felt pretty good from the moment the lights went out. Maybe I got a little too excited because I made a mistake into turn five on the second lap, got in there too hot and a few of us ran pretty deep.”
“Spies went off in front of me and I followed him into the gravel. We touched coming back onto the track and then there was a big curb that I had to avoid so I lost a lot of time there. Once I got into my rhythm the pace wasn’t too bad and I passed a few guys but each pass took me longer than I would have liked because I didn’t have much confidence on the brakes.”
“By the end I could see ninth place and maybe with a couple of extra laps I could have made it but it wasn’t to be today. I have to apologize to the team because I crashed on Friday which got us behind and even though they worked hard all weekend we haven’t found the traction I needed to be competitive today. Luckily we don’t have to wait too long to put it behind us in Malaysia.”