Ben Spies endured a miserable opening race to the season inQatarwith the factory Yamaha rider badly affected by chatter throughout the 22 lap race.
Yamaha team director, Massimo Meregalli, explained that the problem started to occur in the morning warm and that the team could not find a solution in time for the race.
“The chatter suddenly appeared on Ben’s bike in warm-up and we couldn’t solve it before the race,” said Meregalli. “We’re not sure why it was yet but the engineers will work on it and we will try to ensure we have the problem solved byJerez.
Having qualified fourth Spies had hopes of a podium before the race began but after just a handful of laps it was clear just how badly he was being affected by the issue.
When asked about when the problem started to occur Spies said, “It didn’t really manifest it just started like that. From the parade lap and the warmup lap for the race it felt like I had knobblies on bike the whole time.”
With no confidence in the bike it was clear to the former World Superbike champion that damage limitation was his only option for the race. “I decided that I didn’t want to trash three suits in a row and to try and get some points,” commented Spies.
The weekend will be one to forget for Spies with the Texan continuing to say that, “it was pretty much a waste of a weekend but the good point is that we know that bike is competitive. We know that it can beat Honda we just have to fix mine.”
With his weekend also marred by two crashes this was a very trying season opener for Spies but with Lorenzo, Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Dovizioso all finishing in the top five it is clear that Jerez should offer an immediate opportunity for the American to bounce back.
Having tested at the Spanish venue during the winter Spies is already looking forward to recovering the lost ground fromQatar.
“We’ll go to Jerez and hopefully have some new bikes which are working good. I feel good [aboutJerez], we’ll just know in a couple of weeks when we get to ride there. Im confident in the bike when its working good we just need to get some stuff figured out and fixed for sure.”