Spies signs with Yamaha WSBK Team

American racer will partner British rider Tom Sykes for 2009

By Motorcycle.com Staff, Oct. 01, 2008
Ben Spies has signed with the Yamaha factory World Superbike Team to partner with 23-year-old British rider Tom Sykes for the 2009 season.

The 24 year-old Dallas native is fresh from a record third championship win in a row, taking the AMA Superbike Championship crown again for 2008. Spies is only the fourth rider in the history of AMA Superbike to win three consecutive titles and is third on the all-time AMA Superbike wins list with a total of 28 AMA Superbike wins.

Im very excited about joining Yamaha in World Superbike, says Spies. This is a positive step for the direction of my career. Ill have a great opportunity to race on many of the top road racing circuits in the world.

Yamahas factory Superbike Team Manager Massimo Meregalli added, Were really enthusiastic to have signed Ben (Spies) for the 2009 team. Hes proved to be a very skilful and successful rider in AMA Superbike and he has been one of the riders we have followed closely this year, says Massimo Meregalli, Yamaha Superbike team manager. We are sure he will be a great combination with Tom Sykes, this is a team we are looking forward to starting with next year.

Ben Spies is switching from Suzuki to Yamaha in 2009.

Spies has been racing and winning in the AMA Superbike Championship since 2005, and has an unrivalled 90 percent podium finish rate for racing, the highest for any AMA rider in the history of the championship. He took second place in his rookie year, followed by the three successive championship wins. Prior to this he had a three year stint in the AMA Supersport Championship. Spies turned pro in 2000, racing in the AMA Superstock Championship for two years before joining AMA Supersport in 2002.

Spies participated in several MotoGP races in 2008 for Rizla Suzuki, most recently finishing sixth in the inaugural Indianapolis Grand Prix, fueling speculation that he would make the jump to MotoGp. In early September, Rizla Suzuki re-signed riders Chris Vermeulen and Loris Capirossi, closing that opportunity for Spies, a long-time Suzuki rider.

Were very excited to have Ben join the team, says Yamaha Motor Europe Racing Division Manager Laurens Klein Koerkamp. Hes proved to be a top rider with his AMA titles and recent rides in MotoGP, we believe hes got a long future ahead of him at the highest levels in motorcycle racing.

Related Reading:
Spies to race in British GP
2008 Indianapolis Grand Prix MotoGP Results
Suzuki re-signs Capirossi and Vermeulen