Spies his prime is better than Hayes .. Spies gave Mladin a run for 3 years in a row ..some of the best racing I've ever seen and the paddock chatter was hilarious.
Hayes hasn't had a real challenge in AMA. He can pull away at will so it's hard to say that Hayes is better than Spies due to talent or if it's just that the AMA talent pool sucks. It would be nice to see Hayes in WSB level.
I would say that the R1 WSB was better than the Graves bike from just theory alone.
Spies, no contest... It still makes me sad how his career went awry.
The WSBK/MotoGP circus is desperate for Asians (especially India/China), North Americans, Australians, and soon South Americans. It is awesome that Spain is dominating, with a little Italian flavoring. Spain is a tiny market, and Italy builds a lot of bikes, but it is still not the biggest market outside of Europe. Asia is a powerhouse for cycles, especially scooters and smaller CC bikes. India alone can probably suck up all the production of the big four. North America is a monster market for pretty much everything with a motor, and South America will not be to far behind. If they want to grow the series and keep on making money, Dorna needs to get all the regions involved and that means represented by home town heroes. People lose interest when there is no one to root for. I am not talking the hard core fans, but the casual fans. That is were the money is. That is why Dorna is pouring support into Moto America, and the Asia talent cup. Anyway, enough rambling. Spies could have given the USA enough breathing room to let the next batch of stars come up if he had stayed healthy and had a bit of better luck. Really sad....
What happened to spies? I was a big fan and I took a couple seasons off from watching racing and when I came back to watching racing and he was gone. If I'm not mistaken this kid that won the evo class of bsb this year is as tall as spies. I'm 6'1" so it amazes me how good they are/were
Damage to his shoulders and chest from a crap season on the Factory Yamaha team. I mean his luck was so bad it almost seemed like it was staged. Blown motor (never happens), broken swingarm (never happens), too many crashes... He could not catch a break that last year at Yamaha. Then switching to Ducati... Please... That bike will kill the career of the most talented riders on Earth. Stoner and Rossi barely escaped... Some others were not so lucky...
He placed (5th - 6th?) in a motogp race as a fill-in, on a new to him track, new to him bike, new everything. I think Hayes could do it, and maybe he's gotten offers, he just doesn't want to be away from his family here in the US?
All that said it's a toss up between the two for me because they are both my top riders I actually like. I'd much rather see a Rossi-Spies team right now over a Jorge.
I was fortunate enough to see Spies last MotoGP race @ Indy, I think two years ago now. It was an amazing experience to watch him rip by on the way to first place (best seats in the house - courtesy of my german associate!!) , only to crash out with I think 7 or 8 laps left to go.
Truly an inspiration. He was actually one of the main forces that made me want a x-planker of my own! 2009 SBK was a magical season.
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