Spies to race in British GP

AMA Superbike champ to sub for injured Capirossi

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Jun. 12, 2008
AMA Superbike champion Ben Spies will make his MotoGP debut a little earlier than expected.

Spies will take Loris Capirossi’s spot and race for Rizla Suzuki at the British Grand Prix at the Donington Park circuit June 20-22. Capirossi will not be able to race after breaking his right hand at the June 8 Catalunya race.

Already penciled in as a wildcard entry to the July 20 US Grand Prix at Laguna Seca, the Longview, Tex. resident says that debuting in England may be better as expectations would be lower.

Ben Spies will wear Rizla Suzuki's powder blues when he races at Donington.“I think this will be a good thing for me to start out at Donington; it is a track I don’t know so I have no pressure. I haven’t done any testing on the bike or with race and qualifying tires so I am not really expected to do anything much, so I can just go out there and learn how everything works and enjoy the event,” says Spies. “This will be good for when we get back to the wildcard races in Laguna and Indianapolis because I know those tracks and I’ll have some knowledge of the bike and be able to put my head down and go for it there.”

Spies will race alongside Chris Vermeulen for Rizla Suzuki which considers Donington to be its home track. The team’s headquarters are also located in England. Meanwhile, Capirossi is targeting the June 28 race at Assen in The Netherlands for his return.

“I’m really disappointed not to be racing at Donington as it is the team’s home Grand Prix and I know there will be a lot of fans there that have come to see us,” says Capirossi. “I tried to get fit and although Dr. Costa says the break is healing well, it won’t be good for me to race there as it won’t be strong enough. So I hope to be back for Assen.

“I wish Ben all the best on his debut,” Capirossi adds. “But he shouldn’t get too comfortable on my bike because I want it back soon!”