Spies hoping to salvage result

autosport.com

Sat, 22 Oct 12:05:07 2011

Ben Spies says hanging on to fifth in the championship is his main target after an injury-ravaged start to the Malaysian Grand Prix.

The American came into the weekend still badly bruised from his crash at Phillip Island, and compounded his woes when he crashed at Turn 10 late on in qualifying.

That left him sharing the back row of the grid with works Yamaha team-mate Katsuyuki Nakasuga, himself a replacement for the injured Jorge Lorenzo.

Despite that season-worst performance, Spies says protecting fifth in the championship remains his goal for Sunday's race. Gresini Honda' Marco Simoncelli, who qualified fifth, is his main threat, currently 17 points behind Spies.

"It's been a pretty eventful weekend," he conceded. "The bike is working really well but I'm just not feeling 100 per cent and ready to get it over and done with.

"Qualifying was tough, we went out there and experienced a crash. I'm not sure why yet but we'll check the data later.

"We don't have a great position on the grid but we'll do the best we can for points to try and hold on to fifth place in the championship."

Team Director Massimo Meregalli said the team would make a late call on its race plan after a 'strange weekend'.

"Ben is trying very hard; he's putting in all he can," Meregalli said. "We have to consider what is best for him so we will have a meeting tonight and make a decision for the race."

 

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