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Spies expects tough debut season in MotoGP

"If I even saw a podium next year it would be a miracle" - Ben Spies.
Newly crowned rookie World Superbike champion Ben Spies claims it'll be a miracle if he finishes even near the podium during his first full MotoGP season, in 2010.

The American star took the World Superbike Championship by storm this year, winning 14 of the 28 races and Yamaha's very first WSBK crown.

That led to a Tech 3 Yamaha MotoGP deal for 2010, which Spies will prepare for by making his M1 debut as a wild-card in this weekend's Valencia season finale, having previously ridden in three races during 2008 for Rizla Suzuki.

“This weekend's gonna be good,” said Spies at Valencia on Thursday. “When we made the decision to go to GPs a month or so ago I said maybe the wild-card is a good thing to do. With the limited testing, it's three more days on the bike and then the test after the race will be a proper test, not just poking around.

“I know what to expect. I know how fast these guys are, which a lot of people don't understand. I do because I've raced against them a couple of times. It's hard to expect anything for my first race with Yamaha. Two and a half hours of track time is gonna be difficult. I can only try and learn and make small steps.

“To do what we did in World Superbikes [in MotoGP] is impossible for a long time, if ever.

“A Superbike and a MotoGP bike are two different worlds. Where in World Superbikes the goal every time I showed up to a race weekend was to win, here I've told people that if I even saw a podium next year it would - I think - be a miracle,” he claimed.

“There are 250 riders coming up next year and these guys [the present MotoGP riders] are so fast right now. Next year is a learning year. Try not to make too many mistakes and evolve as a rider, because I have a very Superbike riding-style which wouldn't work too good on these bikes.

“I have to do more learning than I've ever done in my career. When I say this a lot of people think 'yeah whatever' but it's a different world up here. I'll have to start from scratch and keep building and building.

“Hopefully we'll get there someday; it's definitely not going to be next year.

“We had a great year in World Superbikes and just to get here in MotoGP is difficult, let alone finish top ten, top five and win races. I don't understand what it takes to win races yet because I've never been up there!

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Spies, Valencia MotoGP 2009
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Suzuki, Catalunya Moto3 2017
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Suzuki, Italian Moto3 2017
Simoncelli, Suzuki, French Moto3 Race 2017
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Smith, Iannone French MotoGP 2017
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Sylvain Guintoli tests ahead of Suzuki MotoGP debut (pic: Suzuki)
Sylvain Guintoli Suzuki Jerez test
Paddock at dusk, Spanish MotoGP 2017

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IOM TT Fan - Unregistered

November 05, 2009 11:01 PM

Been watching a long time. Seen guys come and go. Has been a very, very long time since I have seen a guy just walk into an International series -absolutely flat cold- and just flip over the whole apple cart. Until Spies this year. What would an "alien" running in SBK look like? Listen to an old man.... Spies will matter. I'm thinking this lad has no interest in being an apprentice or a need. He has made his own rules so far. Why would that suddenly change? It won't.

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