Spies Named to Yamaha Factory MotoGP Team

American racer named Rossi’s successor

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Aug. 27, 2010
Yamaha has announced Ben Spies will race for its factory MotoGP team for the 2011 season.

“We’re delighted that Ben will join the Factory Team for next season,” says Lin Jarvis, managing director of Yamaha Motor Racing. “Ben has shown great promise in his first ten MotoGP races. He has learnt rapidly and recorded strong results, including a well-deserved podium finish at Silverstone – impressive for someone in their first full season.”

Currently sitting at seventh with 90 points, Spies is the highest-placing rookie in the MotoGP standings, for the satellite Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team.

“My first year in MotoGP has been a great learning curve and for that I have to thank Herve Poncharal, all the team at Tech 3 and especially my American mechanics who have stuck by me throughout this great journey so far,” says Spies. “Having previously been to only four of the ten tracks to date, I have to be pleased with where I am and with having achieved my first podium so soon. I'm especially pleased that Yamaha have recognized the potential in me and given me the opportunity to step up to the Factory Team so early in my GP career. I believe that by working closely with the Yamaha staff and my mechanics we will be able to help develop the M1 and make the next step of challenging for regular podiums, followed by future championships.”

Ben Spies will join Yamaha's factory MotoGP team for 2011.

Spies’ promotion has been expected for weeks, especially since current Yamaha factory racer Valentino Rossi announced he is leaving the team to race for Ducati next season. Replacing a rider with Rossi’s resume is a daunting challenge, but Jarvis says Spies will eventually be a title contender.

“We believe that Ben will be a future title contender and that he will be a good fit with our team. His mission next year will be to continue learning, consistently challenge for podium places and try to win some races,” says Jarvis. “I would like to take this opportunity to thank Herve Poncharal and the Tech 3 Team for taking care of Ben this season and for giving him such good training for the years ahead. I hope that he will repay them by getting some more podium results in the second half of this season and helping them to secure top satellite team status at the end of this year.”

Next up for Jarvis is to get current MotoGP points leader Jorge Lorenzo signed to a new contract.