Ben Spies said it meant a great deal to him that his maiden MotoGP victory came at the famous Assen track, as he clinched reaching the top step of the podium for the first time in the world championship in today's Dutch Grand Prix. The American led from the outset, and got an early break on the field when his Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo was taken out by Marco Simoncelli (Gresini Honda) just behind him.
Spies said the win was particularly poignant given Assen's heritage in motorcycle racing and the fact that Yamaha was celebrating its 50th anniversary in grand prix racing this weekend.
"It's special. This track is a track I grew up watching all my heroes race on," he said. "With this weekend being the 50th anniversary for Yamaha, I don't know how it all came together – I had a friend over from America, we had the special colors for Assen, and the way the weather was, maybe it all happened for a reason and we were able to do it today."
He added that he had found it easier to be riding alone for the majority of the race, though it made concentration harder toward the end.
"The race was tough in some ways and easy in some ways," said Spies. "It was great to have a good rhythm and be by myself, where I could set the pace. That made it difficult for the last five laps, but it was fun."