Days after stunning MotoGP by announcing that he would leave the works Yamaha team at the end of the season, Spies shrugged off a heavy qualifying crash at Laguna Seca to run fourth until the accident. After coming under pressure from the Tech 3 Yamahas of Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow in the opening laps, he was beginning to pull away when the problem occurred.
"I was feeling really good, I didn't have the grip that I had in the earlier sessions with the harder tyre but in the last 10 laps I was starting to pull away and I had a little left up my sleeve," said Spies.
"We started to stretch out a lead over Dovi then all of a sudden at the bottom of the Corkscrew the bike went out from underneath me.
"I had no control, it didn't slide or anything, just completely went. At first I thought I'd hit a bump but there isn't one there. It's nobody's fault but it's more bad luck."
Yamaha team director Massimo Meregalli said Spies deserved a change of fortune. The American has yet to finish on the podium this season and is only 10th in the championship after 10 of 18 rounds.
"After his bad crash yesterday he was riding very well today and was pulling away from Dovi when he crashed," said Meregalli.
"This is another part of his bad season, hopefully from Indy onwards we won't have any more bad luck."