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June 28th, 2017, 02:44 PM   #11
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Ben Spies' mom and crew chief were NOT the reason for his early exit from the factory Yamaha seat,
I never suggested that it was, that wasn't the point of my post...but I agree, Mary in particular was instrumental in him getting there as yourself and Yamfan so correctly pointed out - Houseman less so, and was absolutely at sea at the level of GP, whilst the two major rifts over management decisions with his Mother during his four tumultuous years in the paddock were I believe to his detriment - but that is simply my opinion. Houseman seemed to do his utmost best to murder him every weekend through criminal negligence.

Good post and I agree with many of your sentiments. Ben/his Mum, made a very shrewd move to WSBk having wisely severed the Suzuki connection after Morris refused to offer him a full time contract - and the Yamaha Italia team were a very tight ship under Meragalli. Some of the rides he put in on the R1 on foreign circuits to him were astounding.

For his arrival in GP - I think he needed a top crew behind him to recognise/maximise his potential and a change of management for the factory seat. However, the way he was discarded by Yamaha was appalling.

I recall Jarvis being interviewed on the grid at Silverstone, (we were there Compa). At that time there were wild rumours gathering momentum about Valentino returning to Honda with substantial backing from Coca Cola - not a dissimilar arrangement to the Nastro Azzurro satellite NSR in 2000. Of course we knew this was complete bollocks, but talk of the door being open again at Yamaha I took very seriously - particularly when Lin said that it was certainly "ajar". That's when I knew for certain Ben was fucked.
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June 28th, 2017, 08:15 PM   #12
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Like Jorge commented about Mav, being on a Factory Yamaha ride has the added pressure of strong results being demanded. For whatever reasons Ben's 2012 season with them didn't deliver on that.

Yeah, Rossi makes them loads of money, he also delivered better results, cant really blame them. I always felt sorry for Ben, was a real shame how things worked out.
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June 29th, 2017, 12:04 AM   #13
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We regularly talk about the imbalance in the factory Yamaha garage and Lorenzo's lot (some of which was of his own making imo), but I don't think that any discussion of Spies should neglect to mention or overlook the vile treatment that he received from the other side of the garage at Yoshimura Suzuki. Once he started to beat his teammate it unleashed a torrent of vitriolic and personal abuse which was unprecedented even by Mladin's low standards. It backfired, because all this did was strengthen Ben's resolve to beat him. Spies response? He trained harder, rode harder and became harder and I gained huge respect for him at such a young age, maintaining his dignity and refusing to be drawn.

I was reminded of this in 2015 when Valentino's mind games similarly blew up in his face. Though not comparable to the vindictive rancour of Mladin, I remember the steely look on Marquez's face when he was accused of being a liar over the childhood poster on his bedroom wall. You could see Marc's perma-smile fade in the press conference and I thought you're not dealing with a Max or 'brushing aside' a Sete now. Serious, serious misjudgement there.

I accept that mind games are part of not just racing - but many sports - particularly in the environment of an alpha-male paddock (we need more Taru Rins - More Katja Poensgens - more Anna Carrascos and more Maria Herreras btw). Look at Read, Sheene, Schwantz and Rainey, or Fogarty to name a few. One of the reasons that I held so much respect for Eddie was that he did his talking on the track - which is why I have similarly warmed to Pedrosa (if he could actually ever manage to string a convincing title bid together). The psychological side should be subtle, clever and implicit. Mladin, aside from being a sociopath, has multiple major personality defects...I always felt that Valentino however should have been above all this...he's too clever, but unfortunately it seems to be a coping strategy for some responding to threat or pressure from a rival.
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June 29th, 2017, 01:49 AM   #14
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Jumping a little late but the thing that sticks in my head far more than anything else with Spies, is just how much 'bad luck' (note the inverted commas) he experienced once things became clear in regards to rider changes.

IMO once again, but Yamaha both dropped the ball big time but also treated him absolutely disgracefully, far moreso than I recall before or since.
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June 29th, 2017, 03:02 AM   #15
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Jumping a little late but the thing that sticks in my head far more than anything else with Spies, is just how much 'bad luck' (note the inverted commas) he experienced once things became clear in regards to rider changes.

IMO once again, but Yamaha both dropped the ball big time but also treated him absolutely disgracefully, far moreso than I recall before or since.
Incidents such as the rear tyre issue at Assen and the shits at Mugello were sheer ill fortune and in respect of the tyre - Bridgestone were prompted to effect a major revision to the carcass. The front brake clamp at Motegi was entirely Houseman's fault but regarding some of the other misfortunes...short of suggesting that anything nefarious was afoot, the butt-surfed swing arm down the corkscrew was one of the most bizarre and freak incidents that I have ever seen befall a rider. By then even the most rational minded were crafting head apparel out of the tinfoil.
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June 29th, 2017, 03:22 AM   #16
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Incidents such as the rear tyre issue at Assen and the shits at Mugello were sheer ill fortune and in respect of the tyre - Bridgestone were prompted to effect a major revision to the carcass. The front brake clamp at Motegi was entirely Houseman's fault but regarding some of the other misfortunes...short of suggesting that anything nefarious was afoot, the butt-surfed swing arm down the corkscrew was one of the most bizarre and freak incidents that I have ever seen befall a rider. By then even the most rational minded were crafting head apparel out of the tinfoil.
I have been watching bike racing for a damn long time and at a high level (let us say National and up), I cannot recall ever seeing anything similar to that swingarm issue, and even then can only recall one vaguely similar issue at club level but that was more a failed rear shock.

I agree though Arrib that it is highly unlikely that Yamaha did anything deliberately or even that they did not provide anything but the highest quality equipment but man, I also have to say that I cannot recall such bad luck over such a short span of time.

Freak. Coincidence. Shit happens. All I know is that Spies must have been walking under a ladder when a black cat crossed his path causing him to trip and smash a mirror being carried into a building.
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June 29th, 2017, 04:06 AM   #17
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Freak. Coincidence. Shit happens. All I know is that Spies must have been walking under a ladder when a black cat crossed his path causing him to trip and smash a mirror being carried into a building.
The unluckiest/most hapless/unfortunate bike racers in recent history...

1/ Akira Yanagawa
2/ Simon Crafar
3/ Chris Walker
4/ Matea Pasini (2007)
5/ Sam Lowes
6/ Sete Gibernau - post Rossi hex
7/ Max Neukirchner
8/ Dani Pedrosa
9/ Josť Luis Cardoso
10/ Reuben Xaus
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June 29th, 2017, 04:31 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Arrabbiata1 View Post
The unluckiest/most hapless/unfortunate bike racers in recent history...

1/ Akira Yanagawa
2/ Simon Crafar
3/ Chris Walker
4/ Matea Pasini (2007)
5/ Sam Lowes
6/ Sete Gibernau - post Rossi hex
7/ Max Neukirchner
8/ Dani Pedrosa
9/ Josť Luis Cardoso
10/ Reuben Xaus
You forgot Gobert.




Just on a serious side, most of those had the bad luck across seasons (in Pedrosa's case, a career) where for me. Spies promised the earth and had a brilliant first year or two, then the rot set in (the rot being the bad luck) and all across a relatively short time frame.

Mulitple episodes of bad luck across lengthy times to me just comes with the ground in this sport (unfortunately) else for me I would say Doohan who for a while it seemed he broke something in his body every time he fell.

Last edited by Gaz; June 29th, 2017 at 04:34 AM.
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June 29th, 2017, 04:46 AM   #19
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You forgot Gobert.

.
Gobert was entirely and single handedly the architect of his own demise.

What became of Aaron?
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June 29th, 2017, 04:59 AM   #20
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Gobert was entirely and single handedly the architect of his own demise.

What became of Aaron?
No he wasn't - he was just unlucky that everything he did was either illegal, immoral or fattening, and in some cases, all three at the same time.


Of course, as you know - he is the one that got away from Australian motorcycling - and it still grates hard on my gut as to what he allowed himself to become





Last I heard he was still fighting the scourge that is drug addiction but had not been in to much trouble since he stole the money from the elderly lady.

To be quite honest (and as brutal as it sounds), he may well be dead as finding anything of him is extremely difficult these days which is both good and bad (good in the hope he has done no more wrong, bad in the fact that he has sunk so low that he is not newsworthy).

I may ask a mate who would likely know but will save it for when I catch him on the roads again (I say may know as the mate is relatively well known in commentary circles within the motorcycle scene at club levels - does commentary up/down the east coast)



Shit sorry, Aaron.

He was doing journo work around some of the local magazines as well as had a small part in some rider training, although that was a few years back.

He and Alex still did some local 'low level' racing from time to time, and I do remember Alex at a number of Smoto meets over the years but haven't seen Aaron or Alex for a while
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Last edited by Gaz; June 29th, 2017 at 05:02 AM.
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