En route to from his home state of Texas to Motegi, Japan, Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP’s Ben Spies suffered from food poisoning.
When he arrived at the Twin Ring Motegi MotoGP circuit on Thursday, the 2009 World Superbike Champion (Yamaha) visited the Clinica Mobile for treatment. The on-track doctors were able to get Spies healthy enough for Friday’s Motegi MotoGP practice sessions, although the results were anything but good.
The lingering sickness from food poisoning put a damper on Spies’ performance during the first two FP sessions Friday; he would finish eighth fastest in FP1, and 14th fastest in FP2; out of the combined times Friday, Spies was 12th quickest, almost two seconds off the lead time set by Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa.
During the second FP session, Spies only conducted five laps due to exhaustion. He will now receive additional treatment from Clinica Mobile in efforts to be in full health by Sunday’s race.
Ben Spies (Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP) says: “What a shocking start to the weekend, I don’t think I’ve ever been as sick as I was on the journey over here, I was nearly not allowed on the plane.
“I’m slowly getting my strength back thanks to the great guys at Clinica but didn’t have enough to ride properly in the second session. I started to get tunnel vision on the straight and just felt it was too dangerous to be out there. I’m working with Clinica today and tomorrow and am sure things will be a bit better for qualifying and the race. I’m really sorry for my team and all the Japanese fans who came to watch today.”
Massimo Meregalli (Yamaha Team Director) says: “The food poisoning has made the start of this weekend very difficult. We are working together with Clinica Mobile and Ben’s condition is getting better all the time. Yesterday he had some treatment and it helped him complete this morning’s session. He thought he could also do the second but I think he used up all his energy in the first heat. We think tomorrow will be better and Sunday he will hopefully be ready for the race.”
Heading into Motegi MotoGP, Round 14 of the 2011 MotoGP Championship, Spies is in fifth place with 146 points, 24 behind Pedrosa.