does anybody else think suzuki fu^ked up not re-hiring spies?
I sure do, here's a good read from superbike planet
Expletive Deleted: Where Now, Spies?
by dean adams
Friday, September 05, 2008
This morning's Yesterday's formal announcement of perhaps the biggest open secret in the GP paddock—that Suzuki re-hired Loris Capirossi and Chris Vermeulen for 2009—puts American Ben Spies in a precarious position.
Or does it?
Spies may very well be shut out of MotoGP for 2009, but he's not without opportunity, trust me. Coyly, Spies made mention of multiple opportunities for him in nearly every series while discussing 2009 at Road Atlanta. Because MotoGP may have passed on him don't think the other World Championship is going to do so as quickly.
Conventional wisdom would suggest that Spies has a shot at replacing Troy Bayliss at Ducati Corse WSBK, on the Suzuki WSBK team or perhaps even on the ten Kate World Superbike team for '09.
And he has multiple opportunities here in the United States as well.
European paddock wags keep saying that allegedly what cost Spies the Suzuki GP ride was some hubris about Spies and his mother, Mary or his refusing to ride at Assen.
I know Mary Spies and I like her, even though I believe, conservatively, that she's mad at me or Soup at least five days out of seven, usually. As a parent, I can certainly empathize with her. She has a very close relationship with her son and she's protective of him. Last weekend at Atlanta I was interviewing Spies for a podcast in the Suzuki trailer with Mary standing nearby. Someone else came in to see Ben and started to walk towards us with Mary in their path. Mary quickly put her leg up to block this person and shot a look that might freeze water. Like I've mentioned, she's fiery but it's not with malice; I believe she has the best interests of her son in mind.
Suzuki MotoGP not hiring Spies makes me wonder how much quantitative research is actually done on GP teams when they hire riders. If I were in this position, I'd want to know the DOB of every rider under consideration and see a spreadsheet of the rider's results for the last three years. I'd also want to see all recent race video from races the rider took part in.
With that data and film in place, and this is not brain surgery, I would compare every rider in contention for the ride by the very same formula.
So, first we have Spies. 24 years old. In the last three years, he has either won the US Superbike championship two or three times (last round and Mladin DQ still to be decided) racing against arguably the best Superbike rider the US has ever seen—Mat Mladin. On a MotoGP bike, Spies went to track in England called Donington Park and qualified eighth, then went to Laguna and finished eighth. First two races on a GP bike—ever. Oh, and in the second race, he was sick and mulling an appendectomy.
On the video front, ummmm ... anyone at Suzuki's GP team see video of Spies in action at Road Atlanta last weekend? I guess not, because if they had, I can't see how anyone would feel hiring Capirossi instead of Spies to be anything but a enormous mistake. In race one, after his stop-and-go penalty, when I looked at the timing monitor, Spies was in twelfth place with a good many decent and hard to pass riders in front of him.
In the aftermath of what then transpired, Spies made it look easy, but was in actuality riding like a man possessed, at the limit of his talent. He finished second. And it was amazing to watch. Spies may have just reached his zenith as a rider last weekend.
In race two, Spies hung around for a while, watched Mat pull away and then, in the last third of the race, he dropped the hammer and rode again like a man not bound to the earth by the same laws of gravity and physics as the rest. Mat Mladin had not been beaten at Road Atlanta since 2005, but Spies passed him like he was driving a bread truck and simply left. Mladin had no answer.
Okay, then we have Loris Capirossi, also in contention for the ride. 35 years old. In 2006 he won three races and finished third in the championship. He won one race in 2007 and has been on the podium one time in 2008. Presently he's also crashing with injury. Is this a trend? Only time will tell.
Suzuki is betting that it isn't and that's, presumably, why in part that they hired a 35 year old rider with possibly declining results instead of a 24 year old rider possibly on the cusp of greatness.
And not hiring Spies and instead hiring Capirossi might be because of Spies' mom or because he didn't ride at Assen? Please. I don't care if a different member of Spies' family dons a wooden tribal mask and performs a rain dance at each race, there's only one thing you do after you look at his results and see a guy ride with unbelievable ferocity as Ben Spies did at Road Atlanta.
If you have it within your power, you hire him. Period.
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Unless you're raping a clown.
Last edited by master link; 03-13-2009 at 07:12 PM.