3-Minute Interview: Ben Spies

The defending AMA Superbike champion will race at Mazda Raceway in Laguna Seca this weekend for the U.S. national Superbike Series races. The 24-year-old from Longview, Texas, has been racing since he was 8.

For people who don’t know, what is a Superbike? It resembles a street bike, but it’s just a lot faster, with a lot of trick parts, a lot of fast speeds.

What goes into practicing or training for a race? You can’t really spend a lot of time practicing on the bike, so I just do loads of running and cycling, staying fit.

Have you wrecked any bikes throughout the years? Yeah, I’ve broken quite a few. I had a tire blow out doing 190 [mph] and I was in the hospital for a month.

What injuries did you have? I had a skin graft on my arm, I’ve broken quite a few bones, but nothing that restricts me now, so it’s not that big of a deal.

Does your mom approve? She’s been watching me on a bike since I was 5, and I could seriously get hurt since I was 12, so she’s used to it.

What separates the wheat from the chaff in Superbike racing? Obviously, you have to have a minimal amount of talent, and after that, it’s whether you have the drive and what you’re willing to do to win it, the training in the off-season, the mental toughness. 

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