Ben Spies finished in fifth today at Phillip Island and mathematically took this year’s Rookie of the Year title beating Marco Simoncelli not only in the race, but also for the best rookie on a de-tuned satellite Yamaha compared to Simoncelli’s almost full spec Honda.
Here’s what the Texas Terror had to say about his race and the coveted title.
“Jorge and I got super close coming out of the first corner and he almost touched my brake lever. It made me run wide in turn two and a couple of people came by. It didn’t ruin the race but it ruined me building up some momentum. I fought my way back into third and was pretty comfortable when I ran wide at the first corner on lap seven. I got in there a bit hot and the rear came round. Everybody got a run on me and came by and dropped me back to sixth. I then had a good battle with Simoncelli. I kind of towed him around and he picked up his pace and came by me. Once I knew nobody was behind me, I just waited until a few laps from the end to push and pass him back. I made sure I got a decent gap and chilled out in fifth. At the end I was running times that if everything had gone smoothly, I feel like we could have battled for the podium. Towards the end of the race I was running similar times to those ahead of me and that’s all I can do. I’m happy to be Rookie of the Year too. I beat a lot of good guys for that and it will be an achievement I can be proud of at the end of the season. I’ve had some good results on this three-week stretch and I’m now looking forward to the last two rounds.”