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Old 05-30-2009, 01:24 AM   #1
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Ben has sushi with haga!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Interview: Ben Spies Returns To America
speaks with the american press at utah
by evan williams/ susan haas
Friday, May 29, 2009
Ben Spies spoke with a couple of American journalists outside his motorhome in Utah on Friday. It was the first time Ben had held court with the American press since he went to World Superbike ...

Q: It's your home race. Is it any different than the rest of them, for you?

A: No, it's less crowded. You don't have the fans yanking on you. But the fans that are here are great. They're cheering for you. It's good. I'm looking forward to it. The bike, we're starting out pretty good, and definitely got a lot of room for improvement.

Q: You did a lot of press leading up to this event.

A: Yeah, but not as much as I would in Italy. It's just different.

Q: What's the best thing about American girls versus Italian girls?

A: They're just different. The cheekbones are different. It's the accent, too. It's everything. I like the Texas girls. They're awesome. And the Italian girls are good looking, too.

Q: So what's the rock-star life like over there?

A: It's different. It's a good problem to have, but it is pretty gnarly sometimes. But it is what it is, and I like it. It's good coming home and nobody still knows who the you are. That's fun, too. Now, when I go in the coffee shops, it's like, a 40-year-old woman knows who I am, and it's kind of like, wow. A little reality check, but it's great.

Q: Well, everybody who reads Sports Illustrated and USA Today knows who you are now over here.

A: Yeah.

Q: What do you think of this weekend? The expectations are so high. The fans are all here, everybody expects you to win both races. Does that bother you at all?

A: At the end of the day, I've been in pressure situations before. I really, with these DNFs and mechanicals that we've had, the points are pretty far out there. Right now I'm really relaxed. I'm just going to go out there and ride as hard as I can every weekend. Doesn't matter if it's my home track or if we're in Czech Republic. I'm trying to win everything. And if it happens, it doesn't, and if I finish, if I have two fifths, I'm still going to go have dinner and have a laugh Sunday night, and have a beer over it. I'm going to go give it everything.

Q: Were you surprised at all, coming out as fast as you were, immediately? Did you think it was going to take a little longer to do that?

A: Not really. I thought I had the speed. Everybody forgets we tested. We knew we were there. I was expecting at Phillip Island to do what I've done. I didn't think it was going to happen as quick, as even with the testing, I didn't think we were going to be up there as quick. But after the testing, I knew we had the speed.

Q: Everybody sees the results and sees you kicking , or sometimes if you've had a bad race, but everybody from the paddock that hasn't seen you wants to know if you're having fun in Europe. Is it as fun as you'd hoped it would be?

A: You know, statistically this has been my worst year in a long time. We've had our ups and downs. But as for fun, I've had the most fun this year that I've had in the last four or five years of racing. It's just the travel, the team atmosphere, the amount of good people in the series that are having fun, and Nori (Haga), my biggest competitor, he came over and made sushi one night. He's going to come over and do it again when we get back. You ride hard, these guys are way more aggressive than the US guys. Not talent-wise, as you can see from Jamie today, we've got speed. But as in being aggressive, they definitely step it up there. But when the race is over, everybody pats each other on the back and goes and have some drinks Sunday night. That's just how it is.

I love it, because there's a good balance. But the racing and everything, and especially with how the Roger Edmondson Cup is, I don't ... miss that, that's for sure.
Q: Which is what you always wanted, right? You always liked having plenty of racer pals over here.

A: Yeah. And I'll race everybody as hard as they want to race. I don't gotta hate them, but I like it here for that reason.

Q: Your old rival never cooked you dinner, did he?

A: Oh, no.

Q: You had such a big rivalry with Mat, but that really didn't help prepare you for this.

A: Yeah, you know, it's not like Mat taught me any talent. But he brought it out in me earlier than it would've came out, I think. And I won't ever take back those years at all. But I don't miss it, just because I enjoy it more now. But those were some of the best years of just hard riding. Yeah, super-hard, tongue through the front wheel riding for 45 minutes, with ten "almost" crashes in a race to win races. It was great. It taught me a lot with that. But all the other stuff that went with it was sometimes a bit much, but that's just - that's how Mat operates, and that's how he works.

Q: We talked to Jamie, and he said he'd like to do World Superbike full-time.

A: Yeah. He can do it, too. He hasn't ridden a Superbike in half a year, never their bike, and his bike is leaps and bounds different from their bike, never been on Pirellis. He does know this track, but he's ridden on this track twice, this layout twice, and these World Superbike guys have ridden it once. So it's not like he's got some big advantage, and he was just, what, sixth, seventh quickest?

Q: His teammate today was 13th and he was 6th, first time on the bike.

A: Yeah. Yeah.

Q: How's living with House?

A: It's good. He has a lot of hair come off his body, you know? I go check the shower out after he takes a shower, and there's (hair) everywhere. But no, it's good. It's fun. We're having a blast.

Q: Do you ever see any Americans at Lake Como?

A: A couple. I've met some really good people over there, too. Professional cyclists, and the guy that runs a pro team. He's South African, so he speaks English. It's good.

Q: Your pad looks pretty sweet.

A: It's really good.

Q:You ride with a bunch of pro (cyclists) over there, don't you?

A: Yeah.

Q: Do you miss anything about America, when you're over there?

A: Just friends. Friends, and all that stuff. But the first time I was over there, I was over there for over three months, and then I come back. The whole going over there for a month and a half, coming back for a couple weeks, doing that is perfect. I love it, because there's a good balance. But the racing and everything, and especially with how the Roger Edmondson Cup is, I don't ... miss that, that's for sure.

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Old 06-05-2009, 01:57 AM   #2
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Old 06-05-2009, 07:25 AM   #3
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sounds like we all need to have sushi and beers together.
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Old 06-05-2009, 08:24 AM   #4
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Nori is going to slip him some bad fish before the race......
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Old 06-05-2009, 10:28 AM   #5
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I read that yesterday and thought.....

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