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2009 Rookies - WSBK Season Preview.

In the latest instalment of Crash.net's preview for the World Superbike Championship, we take a look at the non-British rookies who will be aiming to re-write the rules in 2009...


Ben Spies – Yamaha Italia

There has rarely been so much of a buzz around a WSBK rookie as there is currently surrounding Ben Spies.

Even before the American's name was linked with a move to the premier Superbike series, Spies was being tipped as the country's new motorcycling star after dominating the domestic scene and catching the attention of several MotoGP teams.

Of course, Suzuki's hesitance - and subsequent refusal - to grant him a factory bike in MotoGP has been well documented, but their loss has undoubtedly been Yamaha, and WSBK's, gain.

Readers of Crash.net will be familiar with how well Spies is regarded amongst those in the know, although it is his headline grabbing performances in pre-season that have gone on to add cynics to his army of fans.

It means that while Spies heads into 2009 as a rookie - and not even one with a full MotoGP season under his belt like Max Biaggi or Carlos Checa before him -, his reputation has alone marked him out as a title contender.

Obvious talent and a fine bike aside, Spies' biggest stumbling block is likely to be his lack of knowledge around certain circuits. Although testing in Portugal, South Africa and Australia hasn't appeared to cause too many problems for Spies so far, it remains to be seen whether the pressure of a race weekend could prove more telling.

If he can overcome this, then Spies really could have a genuine shot at the title on speed alone – not to mention remind MotoGP what they have missed out on…


Shinya Nakano – Aprilia

Although it seems strange to call a rider with so many years of MotoGP experience a 'rookie', Shinya Nakano probably still has less Superbike experience than most having plied his trade in GP racing for around a decade.

Nonetheless, having been frozen out the remaining seats that were available in MotoGP, Nakano will jump at the opportunity to help Aprilia with their ambitious new WSBK project.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Ben Spies - Yamaha (pic: Yamaha)
Kyle Smith, Mercado and Savadori, Jerez SSTK1000 race 2014
Kyle Smith, Mercado and Savadori, Jerez SSTK1000 race 2014
Kyle Smith, Mercado and Savadori, Jerez SSTK1000 race 2014
Kyle Smith, Mercado and Savadori, Jerez SSTK1000 race 2014
Kyle Smith, Mercado and Savadori, Jerez SSTK1000 race 2014
Kyle Smith, Mercado and Savadori, Jerez SSTK1000 race 2014
Kyle Smith, Jerez SSTK1000 Race 2014
Kyle Smith, Mercado and Savadori, Jerez SSTK1000 race 2014
Mercado, Jerez SSTK1000 Race 2014
Mercado, Jerez SSTK1000 Race 2014
Race start, Jerez SSTK1000 race 2014
Jezek, Jerez SSTK1000 race 2014
Kyle Smith, Jerez SSTK1000 race 2014
Massei, Jerez SSTK1000 race 2014
Mercado, Jerez SSTK1000 race 2014
Mercado, Jerez SSTK1000 race 2014
Savadori, Jerez SSTK1000 race 2 2014

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Beszti - Unregistered

February 24, 2009 6:31 PM

Spies is the best racer and Nakano is the best developer of them. Aprilia made a good choice with him - in Motogp, kawa's best times were when they hired the Japanese, i.e. 2nd place at Assen 2006...



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