Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Spies on racing the Indianapolis GP

What's your reaction to the repaving of the infield portion of the road course for the Red Bull Indianapolis GP?

It's always great when the track is investing and making the surface better for the riders. But also, when there are bumps and things like that you can figure out as a rider, it's good to kind of have that. Where some riders complain about the bumps, maybe you figure out better line around them, or things like that. All in all, I'm much happier that it's been repaved, and I'm very much appreciative of Indy doing that. But then there are also some times you've kind of figured out how to go fast on what was there last year. But I'm much happier that they have repaved the track, and it will make it a little more consistent for us riders.

You got that first win under your belt at Assen, would there be extra significance for you to win at Indianapolis on home soil?

For sure. That (the Indianapolis GP) was my best weekend last year. You always want to do well in front of the home crowd. You always say you're going to push to the limit and try harder, but any racer- it doesn't matter if it’s Malaysia, Italy or America - for those 45 minutes on Sunday, I'm pushing the absolute most I can out of me and the bike. My third place at Catalunya, I rode with the same mentality as I did in Assen, but it came together at Assen. You always hope when you're at your home Grand Prix that everything comes together, and you're able to do it for the fans. There's always extra incentive there, but the pace you run in the race is 100 percent all the time, for all the riders. It's the same. I hope it does come together this year in Indy and we can do it again, we can win another race.

You had a memorable moment here last year at Indianapolis, getting on the pole and kind of announcing yourself to everybody. With each success, do you think of yourself as someone trying to help other Americans get turned on to this sport?

It's difficult because in Europe, the popularity of motorcycle racing is like NASCAR in the States. So it's hard. If I can be of any assistance to build the MotoGP reputation in the US, that's the goal, that's what we want. I race for Yamaha to help them sell motorcycles, and they give me motorcycles that we can win on. It’s not just what we do on the racetrack but what happens afterward. That's definitely the goal - to help MotoGP become bigger in the US.

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