Yamaha WSB team manager Massimo Meregalli says it is his intention to re-sign Ben Spies for at least one more World Superbike season in 2010 as part of what he hopes will be an unchanged rider line-up with Tom Sykes.
Spies enters the latter stages of his maiden world championship season well involved in the fight for the title, having slashed Noriyuki Haga's advantage in the overall standings to 14 points with ten races remaining this year.
Spies' form, which has seen him win five of the last six races, has come at a pivotal moment in the rider market, with the American reportedly being courted by a number of MotoGP and rival World Superbike teams.
Although Spies was remaining coy on the situation at the previous round of the series at Donington Park, he did reveal to Crash.net
that a decision will be made soon.
For Meregalli, he is hoping Spies chooses to remain with his Yamaha team for at least one more season, regardless of whether he does go on and win this year's title at his first attempt.
“We don't know anything yet,” he told Crash.net
. “We are definitely working on retaining him and I would like to work with him next year. I know that, for his career, the target is MotoGP, but I hope he will stay in World Superbikes for one more year and then move there.”
With few movements in the rider market so far this summer, much is thought to depend on Spies' decision, not least for Meregalli, who has a few riders in mind as a replacement for Spies should he need one.
Included amongst these is double WSBK champion James Toseland. It is believed Spies and Toseland could swap positions between Yamaha WSB and the Monster Yamaha Tech 3, although Toseland insists he is planning to stay where he is in MotoGP (click here
“I don't know whether we can do a direct swap with MotoGP, but he is definitely one of the riders we have in consideration,” Meregalli continued.