Ben Spies may be yet to start his first season as a Factory Yamaha MotoGP rider, but the former World Superbike champion is already 'excited' about the new 1000cc regulations, which will come into force from 2012.
Spies was the 2009 MotoGP Rookie of the Year with the (satellite) Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team, and his two podiums and one pole position proved he could quickly master the present 800cc grand prix prototypes.
But the Texan still believes 1000cc style is more natural for him.
“When the 1000s come it's going to be a whole lot different,” said Spies, who won four AMA titles (three SBK, one Xtreme) and then one world title on 1000cc machinery.
“I'm excited for when that happens, because I think my style will work better with those bikes.
“But I think I'm not doing too many things wrong [with the 800cc]. I just need to work on a few key elements and we'll have a decent year this year.”
Spies concluded the first two 2011 pre-season MotoGP tests, both at Sepang, in sixth and then fifth overall.
Over the six days, both Spies and team-mate Jorge Lorenzo finished as top Yamaha for three days' each.
“Myself and Jorge ride differently for sure,” said Spies, when asked to compare styles with the reigning world champion. “We each have our strong points. There is stuff I do better and stuff he does better.
“My style has changed a lot compared with a year ago. Does it need to change a whole lot more? Not really, but for sure there are things I can do better. But there's also some stuff that I want to keep that I think I do well.
“For sure one of our strengths at the moment is the front end of the bike. We've always known that with the Yamaha. And I'm good on the brakes. But we also lack a bit of corner speed. You've got to find that balance between what is better.
“Every rider has strong and weak points. I feel comfortable when the bike is sliding and moving around. I'm not saying I'm perfect at it, but I'm probably stronger at the end of the race. When the heat comes out and the tyres get old our pace doesn't seem to be affected too much.”
The third and final 2011 pre-season MotoGP test will be held at Qatar from March 13-14.
The first track test for Spies and Lorenzo with an early version of the new 1000cc Yamaha is expected after the Italian Grand Prix, at Mugello, on July 3.