Although his dramatic charge from 11th on the grid to a fifth place finish at round one in Qatar was impressive, Ben Spies knew that track well. This weekend, the Yamaha mounted rookie won’t have it so easy.
The Jerez circuit is new to Spies, and is one of nine tracks he will race on this year for the first time. Given the problems he had in qualifying at Qatar, however, it is likely Spies will qualify higher in Jerez. Moreover, Spies proved in WSB competition that he is a quick learner. Of course, the competition is stiffer in MotoGP, but you cannot deny the significance of his ability to learn a new track so well on the first weekend that he could take pole and race wins last year.
In today’s opening practice session, Spies was 11th quickest. More importantly, he was only about one second off the pace being run by the top three riders. Spies stated that he likes the Jerez layout, and is confident for tomorrow’s practice and qualitfying sessions before Sunday’s race.