Spies dominates while sweeping Superbike doubleheader
The unassuming Texan swept the doubleheader in the World Superbike Championship by a country mile. Spies won the opening race by 9.394 seconds over Spain's
Spies has won seven of the 14 races in his first season in the series, which reached its halfway point at MMP. He sliced 35 points off the lead of Ducati's
"It was the weekend we needed," Spies said. "We did everything we hoped to do. We did what we could do to get back into it (championship)."
Spies had won five of six races at MMP when he was riding to the American Motorcylist Association's Superbike title the past three years, but returning for the only world round in the United States this year came with a heavier burden. Spies didn't want to fail the American fans.
"The nerves were there," Spies said. "It was a tough weekend with all the fans rooting me on. At least I didn't let the American fans down by getting my butt kicked."
Spies had one of the best weekends -- perhaps the best ever -- for an American in a World Superbike race on American soil. He became the third to do it, joining
"It's (weekend) pretty good," Spies said. "It's the middle of the season and it's not a championship, but this was good. Yeah, I'm happy. Riding with
Zemke, of Paso Robles, Calif., and Hacking, of Charlotte, N.C., are both regulars on the AMA tour and close friends of Spies. Hacking, riding for the injured
Spies, riding for Yamaha's Italian-based team, bolted away at the start of the first race. He had a two-second lead at the end of two laps on the 3.048-mile course and it was up to four seconds after five laps.
The race was red flagged for crashes by
"I was pretty upset and then they told me the race would be on aggregate time," Spies said. "That's the way it should be, but I wanted to win the real race."
The motorcycles lined up in the order they had been running at the end of five laps and had 16 to run, but the standing restart was again from rows of four.
"The feeling (on the motorcycle) was good and the bike setup was perfect," Spies said.
Spies led into the first turn in the second race, with Ducati's Fabrizio tucking in behind him.
Fabrizio kept it interesting, 1.5 seconds behind at 13 laps. Spies began pulling away rapidly and led by 3.8 seconds four laps later. Spies added a second a lap over the final four laps.
"The (second) race was so good, I almost feel like I robbed it from Michel," Spies said.
Spies' double win has put him in contention to become America's sixth champion in World Superbike and first since