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Spies to MotoGP Next Year: It’s Official!

Thursday, October 1, 2009
The Texas Terror headed into race day at Miller Motorsports having set a new record for most consecutive World Superbike poles  having taken pole in the first seven races of the series. Fellow Texan Doug Polen held the previous record over a decade ago.
The kid from Texas is moving up the world racing ladder quickly, heading off to the pinnacle of the sport for next year.
In a move expected by many, yet unofficial until now, American World Superbike rookie Ben Spies will essentially trade places with Monster Tech 3 Yamaha MotoGP rider James Toseland for next year, regardless if Spies wins the world title this year or not. Spies will join fellow American Colin Edwards on the Tech 3 squad, making for 'Team Texas'. Toseland, who has been in MotoGP with Yamaha Tech 3 for two years now, will go back to his old home of World Superbike, this time for the Yamaha team Spies currently rides for. Toseland is a two-time former World Superbike Champion, but his tenure in MotoGP didn’t last long. Can homeboy Spies do better?
"I want to thank Yamaha globally for their faith in me," said Spies in a Yamaha press release issued today. "They have treated me like royalty. Yamaha just recently allowed me to rethink my contract for 2010-2011; I did sign for World Superbike for 2010 but after Indy I began thinking of the competition and my age versus waiting until 2011. This was not an easy decision, the Yamaha World Superbike Team crew and especially Massimo (Maio) Meregalli have been fantastic and it's been great fun to put in a season together. I am hoping that I can give Maio, Laurens Klein Koerkamp and everyone else a championship to remember this year with me. My thanks also extend to 'Infront', the promoter of the World Superbike series, especially Paolo Ciabatti. I have enjoyed his series and this first year racing in Europe. Now I have two challenges, to complete this year giving my best and to move towards new goals in MotoGP. Herve Poncharal at Tech 3 is showing his support by allowing me to come on board with my crew chief Tom Houseworth and Gregory Wood, my mechanic, who have both been with me since AMA days. We will have learning curves to overcome next year but I am up for the new goal. I hope to have a good year and my goal is to try and stay in the top six to eight which, given the talented line up, will be a tall order. With the world upside down, there is one constant for me and that's Yamaha."

Ben Spies - World Superbike  Donington Park
Elbowz is officially off to MotoGP for 2010. Can he win the World SBK title first?
Added Yamaha’s Managing Director of Racing Lin Jarvis: "Following the announcement of Ben's two year deal with Yamaha one month ago, he has reassessed his options and decided that he would like to move to MotoGP sooner rather than later. Yamaha has considered his request and together with Tech 3 we were able to find a way to make it happen. Ben has done a fantastic job in his rookie season in World Superbike and we are very excited to now be welcoming him into our MotoGP program sooner than we originally expected. We believe that Ben will be a fast learner next season and a strong future championship contender. We look forward to working with him in the years ahead."

With the added motivation that he won't be in World Superbike next year there's no doubt Spies will be giving it 110% at the final two round of the series to go for the title in his rookies season. He currently sits a mere three points shy of Noriyuki Haga, which essentially means the championship is tied. It's going to be a good one. Stayed tuned as we will be live at the final round as well as riding Spies' and all the other Superbikes the Monday after!

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Geo -IndyHondaGuy  January 24, 2010 08:13 AM
Yo Dan from Canada..Are you crazy or just from Canada? Ben Spies will NEVER be nor has EVER been a back marker! Rossi...blah blah blah Ben Spies IS the best road racer on the planet PERIOD!
Jens -Ben Spies in Moto Gp  October 2, 2009 04:32 PM
I am glad that Ben has decided to jump into Moto GP now instead of waiting and I agree with Str8Up that it's going to be difficult to finish on the podium with a satellite team because Moto GP bikes are not production based bikes but one off radical and super touchy missiles that need to be fine tuned to each rider. As of now the two factory Yamaha boys have the superior machinery and ofcourse the talent to match. Put Ben on top shelf bikes and watch him win.
NorCalFilth -Str8Up - Sorry Ben  October 2, 2009 09:43 AM
Great Point Str8Up, you forgot to include:Troy Bayliss and Nori Haga! Here is another thing that you didn't mention, Ben knows his place, "I hope to have a good year and my goal is to try and stay in the top 6-8 ..." he said in the press release. So yes we should root for him (i am happy to see him go) but dont think that he is going to kick a$s in GP just because he did it on a superbike. As a wise man has told me many times, "the fastest guy Spies has had to race was Mladin".
Str8Up -Sorry Ben  October 2, 2009 06:40 AM
Oh and Ben, please prove me wrong!!
Str8Up -Sorry Ben!!!  October 2, 2009 06:38 AM
Nothing against Ben but I have to tell you all, Ben will not only have the same faite as Toseland, but also Colin and Hopkins. If you all have been watching road racing for the last ten years, you should know that Colin and Toseland were both World Superbike champs and did nothing in MotoGP. Now Colin had a chance when he was riding a factory bike with Rossi but Toseland never had a chance with the satelite team. As long as the factory teams receive all of the nessesities to win race's and the satelite teams has to wait awhile to get the same nessesities, that person riding on a satelite team will never be a winner. As long as I have been watching MotoGP, I have never seen a person win a race on a satelite bike, let alone the championship, !! I also have to bring this up, MotoGP is a Euro base entity. It would be cold day in hell before an American wins another Championship in MotoGP. God forbid if they had put Ben on a factory bike and him winning the championship his first or second time out. MotoGP can't have that!!! So Ben, your an American and you are on a satelite team which constitutes a double whammy. Sorry Ben!! But i'm still root'n for you and the other Americans!!!
NorCalFilth -ExFactory - Lets go team Texas  October 1, 2009 02:12 PM
ExFactory I am happy to hear that you have "looked into starting another series" and hope it will amount to more than the lame MIC effort of last year. I am tuned in and you are now on the clock.
Dan the Canadian -2011....  October 1, 2009 12:17 PM
Well as long Rossi is at Yamaha, Spies will be in the satelite team and be a back marker......
2011 Rossi to Ducati, and Spies to the Factory Yamaha team......
ExFactory -Lets go team Texas  October 1, 2009 12:12 PM
NorCalFilth sorry to differ with you but , NO I will not be watching ANY US road racing sanctioned by DAMAG. And I have looked into starting another series. Stay tuned! X
NorCalFilth -ExFactory - Lets go team Texas  October 1, 2009 12:08 PM
Hey Ex Factory, you were going good until you had your PS. Listen my man if we want to think of ever having any other young rider from the US go to the world scene we need to start being productive and supporting those racers. DMG is flawed but to say that you wont support the series is like condemning our young american riders to a lifetime of club racing. Furthermore you and i both know that you will be watching the races next year, because if you weren't you wouldn't even be wasting your time writing about it. Say what you want about the "dumbed down Suzuki" that Mladin went faster on, and the buell, and Rodger Edmunds, but hey if you are really a road race fan i suggest that all the critics either put up (start your own series, because every writer and blogger can do it better than) or shut up. It wasn't that long ago that you were complaining about the AMA in its old format.
ExFactory -Lets go team Texas  October 1, 2009 11:26 AM
Having known Ben for many years all I can say is he's on his way! Ben is doing the right thing. He's spent almost all his racing career on street bikes. He got out when Suzuki blew him off after all he did for them. (I heard the brain behind letting Ben go from Suzuki is now serving snow cones to Russians in Siberia!) Ben has shown he can adapt quickly to any bike and track. He will do the same on even better equipment like the M1. Ben is like Kevin, Freddie, Kenny in that he can go to new tracks that's he's never seen and break the track record and qualify #1. Yamaha is being very smart in letting Ben grown in his ability and learn from the likes of his team mates and not holding him back. Yamaha has really done the right thing as has Ben. It may take Ben a race or 2 to get up to speed... but then again it's Ben and it may not!!! X PS: F_CK DMG AND ROGER EDMONSON AKA THE KILLER OF US ROADRACING!!! I WILL NEVER WATCH ANOTHER ONE OF YOUR GLORIFIED CLUB RACES AGAIN!!!
J Dawg -Hell Yeah  October 1, 2009 10:13 AM
Let's hope he can ride it like he rides everything else WFO!
Bigoltool -Team Texas!  October 1, 2009 10:10 AM
This could be a potential goldmine for a Texas based company to Sponsor Spies and Edwards in MotoGP! The series is going to be very exciting to watch next year. With the addition of Spies, Simoncelli, Bautista, Barbera and possibly even Aoyama, Espargaro or Pasini there will be no shortage of young guys looking to purge even more "MotoGP Dead wood" from the series. DeAngelis, Elias, Vermeulen and Toseland are all early casualties of this phenomenon.
B -Spies  October 1, 2009 09:52 AM
Good for Spies! And good for Yamaha not wasting any time. Now we'll really see what Ben is made of against the premier road-racing talent.
NorCalFilth -Revision  October 1, 2009 09:28 AM
Forgive me not proof reading my post... the last line was intended to be: Hopefully Edward and Spies will have a better relationship than Edwards and Toes.
NorCalFilth -Lets go team Texas  October 1, 2009 09:24 AM
With a handful of great new talent in the paddock next season is certainly going to be interesting. The battle of the rookies, will the pedigree 250 riders beat out the American raised on four stroke superbikes? Only time will tell. I am rooting for Ben and cant wait to see him square off against the best. Hopefully Colin and he will have a better relationship with Spies than he did with Toes.
Tim B -Ben Spies is the Man!  October 1, 2009 09:18 AM
I've been waiting for this! Now MotoGP should be interesting for us Americans! I think Ben will to well in two years or less!