Ben Spies will get an early chance to experience Yamaha MotoGP machinery after being granted a wild-card ride for the season-ending Valencia round.

The World Superbike title contender, confirmed at Monster Yamaha Tech 3 for 2010, will 'participate as a single rider entry of a Yamaha Factory Racing Team, using YZR-M1 test bikes brought over from Japan' at the Spanish event.

Spies, who starts Sunday's penultimate round of the WSBK championship just three points behind title leader Noriyuki Haga, rode in three MotoGP events for Rizla Suzuki last season - with a best finish of sixth in the wet at Indianapolis.

The 25-year-old Texan steered his present Yamaha R1 to a second place finish at Valencia earlier this year and has previously tested the Suzuki GSV-R at the track. The Valencia MotoGP race takes place on November 6-8, two weeks after the final World Superbike round at Portimao, Portugal.

With MotoGP winter testing severely restricted, Spies will benefit from valuable extra track time on the M1 by entering the event, with the other 2010 MotoGP rookies not due to make their debut until the Valencia test, to be held on Tuesday and Wednesday after the race.

Having wrapped up the 2006 WSBK title, Troy Bayliss also made a wild-card appearance at that season's Valencia MotoGP round - and won the race for Ducati.

Spies will have more modest expectations, but all eyes will be on how close he can get to 2010 team-mate Colin Edwards and the rider he will be replacing, James Toseland.

Toseland will return to WSBK in place of Spies next year.


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