MotoMatters.com is delighted to feature the work of iconic MotoGP writer Mat Oxley. Oxley is a former racer, TT winner and highly respected author of biographies of world champions Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi, and currently writes for Motor Sport Magazine, where he is MotoGP correspondent. We will be featuring sections of Oxley's blogs, posted in full on the Motor Sport Magazine website, over the coming months.
This is the time of year I usually indulge myself with a list of awards, handing out praise and criticism, perhaps bearing a grudge or two and exacting a little revenge here and there.
But this year I’m only going to hand out one award because I don’t think there’s ever been a more deserving winner of any award than this. It’s for the unluckiest rider of the year, and the winner is former factory Yamaha rider Ben Spies whose 2012 season was such a tale of unmitigated disaster that it was (ironically) round 13 before he even had an incident-free race. I’ve been working the GP trail for a quarter of a century and I’ve never known a rider suffer so badly, week in, week out.
When Spies arrived in MotoGP three years ago many people expected him to go all the way to the top, as had fellow former AMA superbike champions Eddie Lawson, Wayne Rainey and Nicky Hayden. His first two seasons went well: his first pole and podium in 2010, aboard a satellite YZR-M1, then his first win in 2011, aboard a factory M1.
Then during 2012 the Texan’s career went utterly pear-shaped, almost as if he had developed an anti-Midas touch, so everything he touched turned to dust.
Read the rest of Mat Oxley's blog on the Motor Sport Magazine website.