Injured Spies aims to race in Spain
|By Matt Beer||Sunday, October 31st 2010, 16:34 GMT|
Ben Spies has declared that he intends to race at Valencia next weekend despite dislocating his left ankle in an accident prior to the start of the Portuguese Grand Prix.
The American crashed at Turn 4 during his reconnaissance lap on the way to the grid this afternoon, as he explored the mostly-dry conditions following a weekend of relentless rain.
The crash also aggravated the injuries he had sustained at Le Mans and Silverstone earlier this year, but with his first test for the works Yamaha team lined up for the days after the race at Valencia, Spies said he was eager to be fit for next weekend.
"I've hurt my left ankle again and it's pretty painful right now," said the Tech 3 Yamaha rider.
"I'll have some more scans in Spain but my intention is to go to Valencia and race and hopefully do the test too. We'll have to wait and see but that's my plan right now."
Spies had qualified fifth despite having not raced at Estoril before. He said cold tyres had been the key factor in the crash.
"I knew the race was going to be tough because I had never turned a lap in the dry on this track," said Spies. "The first sighting lap was fine and on the second I just made a mistake at Turn 4.
"[Hiroshi] Aoyama and [Loris] Capirossi were in front of me and they nearly did the same thing. I just didn't have the left side of the tyre heated up enough and it spat me off.
"I'm frustrated because I'm sure even in the dry I could have had a fairly good race."
Tech 3 team boss Herve Poncharal said Spies had done an excellent job prior to the accident, and backed his bid to return at Valencia.
"I was standing on the grid when race direction told me that Ben had crashed at Turn 4 and I feel really sorry for him because all weekend he's done an incredible job," said Poncharal.
"He'd never seen this track and in atrocious conditions he was always one of the fastest on track. When you look at the race it is not impossible to imagine Ben being capable of fighting for the podium again.
"We hope he'll be fine for Valencia and I know already that he wants to race."