Motorcycle Racing News MotoGP Estoril: Ben Spies Crash & Injury

MotoGP Estoril: Ben Spies Crash & Injury

Portugal MotoGP

Ben Spies on his run to take not only MotoGP Rookie of the Year (which he has already secured) but also Privateer of the Year, highsided and crashed his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha M1.

Actually, Spies was unfortunately unable to start the Grand Prix of Portugal in Estoril, after this heavy motorcycle crash on the sighting lap.

After a weekend of atrocious weather severely disrupted the practice and qualifying schedule, the MotoGP race started on a drying track in bright and sunny but blustery conditions.

It was a difficult afternoon for the American Ben Spies, who had impressed motorcycle racing fans all weekend on his first visit to the Estoril track in Portugal.

Spies was confident of a strong race despite having never completed a single lap of the track in the dry. But he crashed his motorcycle on the second of two sighting laps at turn four and was unable to start the 28-lap MotoGP event.

Spies suffered a dislocated left ankle and aggravated injuries suffered in Le Mans and Silverstone earlier in the season.

The 26-year-old Spies will now travel to Spain where he will undergo MRI scans on the ankle, though he is determined to end his outstanding MotoGP rookie campaign by participating in the final round in Valencia next weekend.

Ben Spies (Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha M1 – DNS the MotoGP – 163-points) says: “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. Aoyama and Capirossi were in front of me and they nearly did the same thing.”

Spies continues: “I just didn’t have the left side of the tire heated up enough and it spat me off. 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,” explains the disappointed Spies after his MotoGP crash.

Herve Poncharal (Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha – MotoGP Team Manager) says: “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.”

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of "365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).

Sinless Cycles Collection at Mecum’s Las Vegas 2021 Auction: Top 7

Sinless Cycles out of Woodworth, La., is a renowned custom shop. It looks like the garage got a bit full, so they’re putting up...

2022 Kawasaki KLR650 First Look (14 Fast Facts)

2018 was a dark year for Kawasaki KLR650 enthusiasts. It was the last year of the much-loved venerable big-bore dual-sport model that debuted in...

2022 Indian FTR Lineup First Look (8 Fast Facts)

It’s barely 2021, yet the 2022 Indian FTR lineup is here, and there are some significant changes to three of the four variants. In...

2021 Kawasaki KLX230R S First Look (8 Fast Facts)

Just a year after the debut of the Kawasaki KLX230R trail bike, we get our first look at the 2021 Kawasaki KLX230R S. While...

2021 Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RS First Look (19 Fast Facts)

Forget what you know about any previous Triumph Speed Triple. The 2021 Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RS is an all-new naked upright sportbike ready...

2021 Harley-Davidson CVO Limited First Look: Updates, Specs, Photos

The 2021 Harley-Davidson CVO Limited arrives with two new paint choices, plus a couple of updates in the dash area. There’s a new LED...