If Kevin Schwantz’ prediction that Ben Spies will win at least one race in his rookie year is to come true, this weekend may be his best chance. Spies knows the Indianapolis track well. When MotoGP visited there for the first time in 2008, he was on the grid (guest riding for Suzuki) and finished the race in sixth position. Remarkable, really.
Although Spies has been pretty quick on tracks he has never seen before, his familiarity with Indy is a plus, as is the fact that the race is close to his Texas home. Another factor? With Rossi leaving Yamaha, Spies might start getting the “good parts” from the factory team. Unlike Rossi, Spies was given a 2011 prototype M1 to practice on during testing after Brno. You can bet that the support of Spies will step up during the remainder of this MotoGP season.
Another factor has to be Spies recent performance, and his increasing confidence running with the MotoGP “aliens”. He came close to taking pole position during the last round (ultimately gridding in the second spot) and finished just off the podium in fourth.
With his confidence high, his recent performances, and the added incentive of riding in his home country in front of family and friends, this just might be Spies last chance this year to take the top step of the podium.