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Ben Spies: Taking It to the Next Level Paperback – September 9, 2011


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Paperback, September 9, 2011
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: David Bull Publishing (September 9, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935007157
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935007159
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 9.1 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,264,103 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Larry Lawrence has been involved in motorcycle racing most of his life, briefly as a competitor and then as a journalist and photographer. Lawrence covered his first race for Cycle News when he was 22 years old and since that time he s written features in dozens of enthusiast publications and newspapers across the world. In addition to writing about modern day racing, Lawrence is one of the leading motorcycle racing historians in America. For ten years, starting in 1998, he was the biographer for the Motorcycle Hall of Fame and in that capacity wrote hundreds of bios on the seminal figures in American motorcycling history. He was also a chair for the Hall of Fame Election Committee. Lawrence co-authored AMA Pro Racing media guides during the mid-1990s, and was a contributing editor to the books Heroes of Harley-Davidson and Motocross America. Today Lawrence writes a weekly column in Cycle News called Archives, is a regular contributor to Cycle World, and runs a motorcycle-racing website riderfiles.com.

Customer Reviews

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John Joss on January 1, 2012
This book traces the rise from local to national to world-level competition and success, from CMRA to AMA, from World Superbike to MotoGP, of the Texan Ben Spies. It starts in the most horrific way imaginable: Spies' 180-mph getoff on the Daytona banking when his rear tire exploded, an accident that injured him severely--potentially crippling or fatal. In this case, as with all his racing injuries, his will to survive, recover and race represents a life force that engenders deep respect.

The book follows his winning ways from second grade to three consecutive AMA Superbike championships to his World Superbike championship in his first year, 2009. It ends with his first year in MotoGP, 2010, with the Tech 3 Yamaha satellite team.

This lavishly illustrated work--photos by the sport's leading photographers--will interest anyone who wants to know how great racers develop. Kevin Schwantz' foreword is a delight, reflecting the man's intelligence, modesty and decency.

As Spies exemplifies, to excel in any sport, indeed in most human endeavors, the key is to start young, work hard, practice endlessly, stay focused, exclude distractions (in Spies' case, school), overcome adversity and injury, never deviate from your career track and let nothing stand in your way. Talent is a given, and Ben Spies has it abundantly--without it, you're not even in the game. But talent is never enough: it must be nurtured, channeled, committed to achievement, by "taking it to the next level." Be lucky. No shortcuts, no excuses. These racing realities emerge strongly.

As we learn from the book, racers work at levels of skill and intensity that average riders and race spectators barely comprehend, typical civilians not at all.
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By maiden pa. on October 29, 2013
Sorry you are retiring Ben.Best wishes Elbowz!!!! Class kid!!!!!!!! One win and six podiums. 1 WSBK title. You will be missed.
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By 2WLTERR on May 22, 2013
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I found this book to be quite fascinating. The "Insiders" perspective of Ben's relationship with certain racers is very eye-opening, and sometimes disappointing, to find out the true personality of some people in the racing industry.
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Even if you don't set the alarm at 3 am to watch Moto GP races live, and you aren't sure what Moto GP really is, you will come to love the determination and force that drives American sensation Ben Spies, the first American to win a Moto GP race in over five years. While that may seem trivial, imagine the smiles and tears as the American flag was unfurled, and our National Anthem was played in Assen, in the Netherlands, during the 2011 Moto GP roadracing series. Ben grew up in Longview, Texas, and continues to call Texas "home", with homes in Dallas, and Longview. After becoming a professional motorcycle road racer at age 16, Ben went on to win three American Motorcycle Association Superbike Championships in 2006, 2007, and 2008. For a young man who did not want to fly, Ben found himself riding for the Yamaha factory in the World Superbike series in 2009, where he raced on tracks he had never seen, in countries he had never visited. The young Texan amazed everyone by winning the World Superbike Championship in 2009, his rookie year. The only place left for Ben to go was to Moto GP, the pinnacle of motorcycle racing. He won Rookie of the Year in 2010, and won his first Moto GP race in 2011. Ben was one of only 17 riders to compete in the Moto GP series of 2011. The 2011 Moto GP series was undoubtedly Ben's toughest year in motorcycle racing. After winning in Assen, he was faced with food poisoning in Japan. He was badly injured in Australia, and was sitting in the announcers' booth in Malaysia as a guest commentator, unable to ride following the concussion and injuries from Australia. Watching the monitors, Ben witnessed a terrible accident, involving his teammate from 2010, fellow Texan Colin Edwards, Valentino Rossi, and Marco Simoncelli.Read more ›
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