U.S. ROOKIE SPIES STANDS ON FIRST MotoGP PODIUM AT SILVERSTONE
INDIANAPOLIS, Sunday, June 20, 2010 – Rookie Ben Spies recorded his first career MotoGP podium finish, placing third in the Grand Prix of Great Britain on Sunday, June 20 after a stirring battle with a group of riders that included fellow American Nicky Hayden.
Spies, from Longview, Texas, ended up 7.097 seconds behind winner Jorge Lorenzo, the 2009 Red Bull Indianapolis GP champion. But Spies’ Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine was just .354 of a second behind runner-up Andrea Dovizioso at the Silverstone Circuit. Spies earned the podium position in just his ninth career MotoGP start.
“It will be hard to duplicate this, but right now I’ll let it sink in and make the most of it,” Spies said. “But on this day, I can say I was the third-best rider in the world, and it is a good feeling.”
Spies started seventh and dusted fellow rookie Marco Simoncelli for sixth early in the 20-lap race. Then he passed superstar Dani Pedrosa on Lap 9 and immediately began to pursue the group fighting for second that included Dovizioso, Hayden and Randy De Puniet.
By Lap 17, Spies passed De Puniet for fourth. He then set sail for two-time Red Bull Indianapolis GP podium finisher Hayden, who was running in third.
On the final lap, Spies hounded Hayden, looking inside and outside for passing opportunities. He finally found his chance at the fast Abbey Corner, seizing third from the Ducati of 2006 World Champion Hayden with a bold move.
Hayden fought back but wasn’t able to crack Spies over the last half of the final lap. Hayden finished fourth, .217 of a second behind Spies.
“That last lap was difficult to pass Nicky, but I got a really good drive onto the back straight and tried to pass him at Stowe Corner, but he came back by,” Spies said. “On the next straight I managed to get by him and then had to ride quite defensively on the last part of the lap. I was on the edge, but I had to go for the podium, and it worked out.”
Spies climbed to seventh in the World Championship. His teammate, fellow Texan Colin Edwards, finished ninth in the race after suffering from lingering arm pump symptoms that hindered his race at the Grand Prix of Italy on June 6.
The MotoGP World Championship races next in the Dutch TT on Saturday, June 26 at Assen, Netherlands. The top MotoGP riders in the world, including Spies, Hayden and Edwards, will race at the Red Bull Indianapolis GP on Aug. 27-29 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
IMS tickets: Tickets for the 2010 Red Bull Indianapolis GP are on sale now. A new structure offers additional value and flexibility to fans attending the annual MotoGP event.
Among the highlights of the new ticket structure are lower prices and single-day reserved and general admission tickets for Race Day, Sunday, Aug. 29.
Fans can order tickets online at www.imstix.com, call the IMS ticket office at (317) 492-6700, or (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area or visit the ticket office at the IMS Administration Building at the corner of Georgetown Road and 16th Street. Online orders can be made at any time. Hours for phone orders and the ticket office are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday-Friday.
General admission tickets provide access to the grounds and to the viewing mounds along the infield section of the circuit, which provide excellent angles to see the greatest riders in the world.
Tickets for groups of 20 or more also are on sale. Contact the IMS Group Sales Department at (866) 221-8775 for more information.