Ben Spies does not think the discomfort from his ankle injury will prevent him from taking a top-10 finish in the French Grand Prix. The American escaped any broken bones when he fell at the start of morning practice at Le Mans today, but was hampered by swelling and a lack of mobility in his damaged right ankle during qualifying, so will start only 12th.
"It was just one of those cold tyre crashes, I think I tried to go a little bit too fast too soon and made a mistake, and it flipped me off," Spies told the official MotoGP website. "It really wasn't that bad a crash for a high side. I hit the ground not so hard, but when it first threw me off the bike, the way the bike snapped rolled my ankle pretty bad. Nothing broken, but we don't really know what the damage is with the ligaments.
"We went out in qualifying and it wasn't so bad. It wasn't a great session, but for how I'm feeling, I'm happy with it. I'm not really in a whole lot of pain on the bike, I just can't really move around fast enough. We'll try as hard as we can in the race.
"When you've got the 16 fastest guys in the class and you're not feeling 100 per cent it's hard to stay with them."
He reckons his Tech 3 Yamaha was quick enough for a top 10 start at least had he been completely fit, so is confident he can be in the top 10 in the race.
"We definitely didn't have the pace to be top five, but we definitely would have been in the top 10," Spies said. "I think we have the pace to fight for the top 10 this weekend even with my ankle not being 100 percent. I think if we get a good start I can fight for top eight or top 10 and make a good weekend out of it."
Spies added that he would not be taking pain-killing injections prior to the race.
"I don't really like taking the injections too much," he said. "I might take a slight pain pill."