Spies: AMA rivals could win in WSBK

Ben Spies thinks AMA Superbike rivals Mat Mladin and Jamie Hacking should consider making the switch to the World Superbike Championship, claiming they are capable of 'fighting for wins'.

Debate has raged over the years as to whether AMA Superbike competitors are of a standard to compete at the front of the World Superbike field, an argument partly resolved by Spies' marvellous start to the 2009 season.

His success, along with the AMA series' recent setbacks – such as Honda's factory withdrawal – has prompted some to believe Spies won't be the last rider to make the switch from national to international competition.

It is a challenge Spies, a three-time AMA Superbike Champion, would welcome, claiming arch-rival Mladin and good friend Hacking would acquit themselves well on the world stage.

“We've got some fast guys in AMA that can do some damage too,” he told Radio. “Mat is the guy that, in each season, I would go toe-to-toe with. He can win races over here, there is no doubt about that. I'd say these tracks suit my style a little bit more than Mat's, but he can definitely be up front.

“Another guy is Jamie Hacking - the tracks would definitely suit him! He was consistently up there in third place when no-one else in the world was getting podiums on the Kawasaki, so those two guys could be over here and be in the top ten and fight for wins on their day. I don't doubt that at all.”

Although Spies plays down claims that Mladin and Hacking would arrive and decimate the opposition, he does say they can add to the 'six or seven guys' who are capable of winning races.

“There are a handful of guys that can come over from AMA and win a couple of races, but what World Superbikes is known for is the depth of the field. It is one of the best championships in racing, not just motorcycles.

“Every time the green flag drops, there are about six or seven guys out there you need to watch for the win. If you run off the track or lose your set-up in the first couple of laps, then you are struggling to climb through the top ten. That's why World Superbike racing is considered the best!”

Australian racer Mladin, a six-time AMA Superbike Champion, has competed in 18 WSBK races since 1992, but has not raced since 2003 when he managed a wild-card pole position at Laguna Seca.

Hacking, who finished 11th on his MotoGP debut for Kawasaki at Laguna Seca last year, is yet to make a WSBK start.

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Spies, Qatar WSBK Race 2 2009
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Muggs - Unregistered

April 01, 2009 2:35 PM

@Truth. I watched that video and you must be a DMG lackey to think that Hacking has done something wrong. He is a class act and all his years in ama superbike being one of the most likeable riders in the paddock. You are dead wrong about him so you can go back to Boss Hog Roger E. and tell him to shove it. For those on the other side of the pond Roger E is killing superbike worse than Bernie or Max Mosley could ever do to F1. That being said Mladin in WSBK will be a force to be reckoned with it might even turn WSBK into the Matt and Ben show all over.

lol - Unregistered

April 02, 2009 1:43 AM

hahah ur a joke rawdawg show me where i say mladin wasnt in gp's so GET IT RIGHT u moron becos u cant show me where lol my name says mladin didnt ride in gp's can u lmfao it was u been clever and i will tell u this ur knowledge isnt up to much is it u said john reynolds stayed in bsb when infact he raced 500 gp's and yes so did mladin u have made urself look foolish again mladin rode a cagiva

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