Ben Spies will remain in the World Superbike Championship with Yamaha in 2010 after concluding an agreement that will also take him to MotoGP in 2011.

Spies has been the subject of persistent rumour regarding his plans for 2010, with many predicting a graduation to MotoGP following a stunning maiden season at World Superbike level.

However, only now has it been confirmed that he will remain where he is for one more year before embarking on a switch to a satellite Yamaha team in 2011.

Following a dominant turn in AMA Superbikes and a handful of impressive showings with Suzuki in MotoGP last season, Spies has now fully established himself on an international stage since signing with Yamaha to compete in World Superbikes.

Currently embroiled in an intense title fight with the experienced Noriyuki Haga, Spies has set a mighty benchmark for any rookie following him having achieved eleven victories and nine pole positions thus far - comfortably more than any other rider.

With an opportunity now to dominate proceedings in his sophomore season with the Italian-based team, Spies says he is happy to continuing in Superbikes knowing he has a ride in MotoGP waiting for him in 2011.

"I am very happy to say that I will remain a part of the Yamaha family," said Ben Spies, "and that I will continue in the WSB series for 2010. This is an exciting period of my racing career and I look forward now even more.

"Yamaha has been great in the warm welcome that I have received entering the world arena and I want to thank them for all they have done, and for giving me their trust for a next career step into MotoGP in 2011."

Announced now so as to help Spies concentrate fully on winning this year's WSBK title, Yamaha Motor Europe racing manager Laurens Klein Koerkamp was delighted that he will be continuing to work with Spies next season.

"We got to know Ben this season in our Yamaha World Superbike Team as a very talented, professional and dedicated person with whom we are thrilled to continue working. Not only is the relationship between Ben, the team and Yamaha in general very successful but it's also a pleasure to work with him.

"This early agreement permits Yamaha and Ben Spies to now fully focus on their 2009 World Superbike campaign in their challenge to achieve their first World Superbike Championship titles together."

The two seats at Yamaha are regarded to be the most hotly contested on the grid, with the likes of Cal Crutchlow, Leon Camier and James Toseland all being linked in recent weeks. Spies' confirmation means there is only one position available alongside him, while team manager Massimo Meregalli has previously stated his desire to retain Tom Sykes.

Spies' confirmation, meanwhile, is likely to ignite some movement in the World Superbike rider market, which has thus far been fairly stagnant.


Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register to add your comment