News 28 Aug 2010

MotoGP: Spies officially joining factory Yamaha for 2011

Following an impressive rookie season, Ben Spies will replace Vale Rossi on the factory Yamaha team in 2011.

Following an impressive rookie season, Ben Spies will replace Vale Rossi on the factory Yamaha team in 2011.

Yamaha this morning made it official that current Yamaha Tech 3 rider Ben Spies will move to the factory team for the 2011 MotoGP World Championship season.

The 26-year-old American, who won the World Superbike Championship with Yamaha in 2009, is enjoying an impressive first season in MotoGP. He is currently the leading rookie and the top satellite rider, lying seventh in the championship.

“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,” the Texan commented. “Having previously been to only four of the 10 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.”

Spies will replace the Ducati-bound Valentino Rossi alongside Jorge Lorenzo on the factory team – expected to sign this weekend -, with Yamaha pleased to have such a solid replacement rider.

“We’re delighted that Ben will join the factory team for next season,” said 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.”

“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.

“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.”

Spies will make his debut with the team at the post-season test at Valencia in Spain directly following the season-ending GP.