28 March 2009
Spies hints at long WSBK stay
Ben Spies says it would take a 'good opportunity and a good bike' to lure him to MotoGP after revealing that he is having 'a blast' competing in the World Superbike Championship with Yamaha.
In an exclusive interview with Crash.net Radio, Spies played down the rumours linking him to a MotoGP ride in 2010 following a stunning start to his maiden World Superbike season.
The American turned to the World Superbike Championship with Yamaha in 2009 after being snubbed by the Suzuki MotoGP team. However, having already won three of the opening four races, Spies has been tipped to make a quick transition to the premier class as soon as next year.
Nonetheless, the three-time AMA Superbike champion is in no hurry to decide his future, insisting that he is enjoying World Superbikes to the point that he says he 'may not be leaving soon'.
“MotoGP it is still the pinnacle of racing, with Valentino, Casey and Dani, but it has taken a couple of steps in the wrong direction, although much of that is down to the economy,” he said. “Then you look at World Superbikes right now and it is so much fun. The racing is such a blast!
“I am keeping my options open for everything and there will always be rumours, but I am having the most fun I have ever had at the moment and the Yamaha team is just great.
“I wouldn't rule MotoGP out completely, but I am definitely enjoying what I'm doing at the moment, so I may not be leaving too soon. I will have to see what happens with both series and I'll review my options.”
Indeed, having competed in both championships over the past year, Spies says that having fun in World Superbikes is an important attraction for him. By contrast, he considers MotoGP to be 'cut-throat'.
“You've got to have fun”, he added. “I started racing for no money because it was fun - I managed to put my family in about $70,000 worth of debt because it was fun! If you can't have fun, then you can't keep doing it.
“When you look at everybody that races in World Superbikes, they say it is the best paddock to be around. They race hard and they race roughly, but everyone pats each other on the back. I have been around the MotoGP paddock too and it is a lot more cut-throat with riders on and off the track - the media and the sponsors too.
“It would have to be a good opportunity and good bike for me to change, because I want to have fun wherever I am racing - that is the most important thing for me!”
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