The rider beginning MotoGP's long-awaited American revolution
After two tough seasons in Moto2, a change of team and the arrival of John Hopkins in his camp helped Joe Roberts to claim a first pole in Qatar and achieve his best showing to date in the race. Could he be the long awaited new American hope for grand prix motorcycle racing?
It's Saturday, June 25, and the 2011 Dutch TT at Assen has just finished. Factory Yamaha rider Ben Spies has taken the chequered flag for his maiden MotoGP victory. Little did we know at the time that June 25 would be the last time the Star Spangled Banner would ring out during a MotoGP podium ceremony.
Spies' career took a nosedive after '11, with a crash-strewn year in '12 (as well as a Valentino Rossi looking for an exit from Ducati) losing him his place at Yamaha, while further injuries upon his switch to Pramac Ducati ultimately ended his career.
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