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Spies set for factory Yamaha after Valencia fourth

Twelve months on from making his Yamaha MotoGP debut, Ben Spies can now look forward to joining the factory team ahead of the 2011 season.
Ben Spies can afford to feel confident ahead of his much anticipated switch to the factory Yamaha team in 2011 after posting a fine fourth place finish in his final outing for the Tech 3 team in Spain.

Consolidating his status as the year's top rookie rider, Spies's run to fourth – which came after charging up the order from seventh during the final portion of the race – also gave him the added joy of being classified as the top American rider ahead of Nicky Hayden.

Coming twelve months after he swept to title victory in the World Superbike Championship, Spies has all but silenced those that questioned his chances on MotoGP machinery thanks to a scorecard that saw him challenging for top five results in nearly each event.

Ending the year sixth in the standings, Spies will now follow in the hallowed footsteps of Valentino Rossi at factory Yamaha, a challenge he is most looking forward to.

“I'm patting myself and my Monster Yamaha Tech3 crew on the back because to get sixth overall in the points is a great achievement for all of us,” he said. “It was a good race and once I settled I could see the three Hondas coming back to me quite quickly. I kept them about a second in front of me and pounced when I felt confident I could pass them and pull away.

“They had some acceleration on me off the turns, so I knew when I made the pass it needed to be into a string of corners and not onto a straight. Once I passed Andrea [Dovizioso] and Marco [Simoncelli} I put my head down for a couple of laps and got rid of them. To finish fourth after last week's crash in Estoril is the perfect finish to what has been a great season.

“I said at the beginning of the season that a top five feels like a win and now this feels more like a normal result. I've had a better year than I thought I would have, so thanks to my team and all the people around me who have given me unbelievable support. I've learned a lot this season and I'm confident I will be even stronger in 2011.”

Tagged as: Yamaha , Ben Spies

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Sick Cylinder - Unregistered

November 08, 2010 12:56 PM

I don't think it is realistic to be expecting him to be challenging Lorenzo next year - at least not regularly. I would like to see how he progresses - so far it has been mighty impressive, but will he continue to improve at the same rate - will he start to get regular podiums or will that only be when the Aliens have a problem. How will Simoncelli improve next season? After a slow start will his rate of progress outstrip Bens? How will Stoner do on the Honda? (top Honda I suspect) How quickly will Rossi gel with the Ducati? Much to look foward to - congrats and thanks to all the riders for this season!

Oli - Unregistered

November 08, 2010 1:04 PM

Spies was awesome this year...but many a rookie has come in and looked like a real prospect, then never stepped up. That final jump, to challenge the likes of Lorenzo, Stoner & Rossi is the hardest. Remember Pedrosa had a great rookie year (aside from wiping out his teammate and nearly costing him the title) and has had the might of HRC backing him ever since - but he has never gone into the final 4 races of the season and still been in the hunt for the title. Big up Spies. Impressive debut season. But the hardest part is yet to come. I watch with interest. Oli

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