Yamaha Racing just can’t seem to get a break these last few rounds of the 2011 MotoGP season. With Jorge Lorenzo already sidelined from the Malaysian GP because of the finger injury he sustained at Philip Island, factory Yamaha rider Ben Spies has also withdrawn from the Malaysian round. Sitting out the Australian GP last weekend, Spies had been struggling with the injuries he received while crashing at 167 mph at Phillip Island. Sore and in pain, Spies’s injuries have caused the American rider to visit the gravel traps this weekend, which have concussed the Yamaha rider, and torn further the soft tissue around his ribs.
Following consultation between Yamaha and Spies, it has been decided by both parties that it would be wise for Spies not to participate in the race, and risk having further injury. This means Spies will also miss Monday’s 1000cc test in Sepang, though the factory rider is still a question mark for Valencia. Hoping to give the American the best chance possible to compete in the last GP of the season, the team is also concerned with Spies’s ability to test the 2012 Yamaha YZR-M1 at the post-season Valencian test in two weeks time.
Yamaha will still have factory test rider Katsuyuki Nakasuga racing the #89 bike in Sunday’s race, though the former-Japanese Superbike rider has spent most of the weekend at the back of the pack, despite posting completely respectable lap times. Filling the void for Yamaha however has been Colin Edwards, who has been mixing it up in the group of faster riders in Sepang all week. Hopeful for a strong finish in the Malaysian GP, the Texas Tornado is Yamaha’s only hope for a decent result at the important Southeast Asian track.
Source: Yamaha Racing