Team Texas goes MotoGP in 2010
Ben Spies will join fellow Texan Colin Edwards on the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team in 2010, forming an all-American rider lineup. It’s the first time Americans will team up for a full season in the premier class since 2005, when Kenny Roberts Jr. and John Hopkins paired for Suzuki.
There will be three Americans on the MotoGP grid in 2010, as Kentucky native Nicky Hayden rides for the Ducati Team. Spies, Edwards and Hayden will join MotoGP stars Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo, Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa in the field for the third annual Red Bull Indianapolis GP on Sunday, Aug. 29, 2010 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
"I want to thank Yamaha globally for their faith in me," Spies said. "They have treated me like royalty! Yamaha just recently allowed me to rethink my contract for 2010-2011. I did sign for WSB for 2010, but after Indy I began thinking of the competition and my age versus waiting until 2011.
"We will have learning curves to overcome next year, but I am up for the new goal. I hope to have a good year, and my goal is to try and stay in the top six to eight, which, given the talented lineup, will be a tall order."
Spies, 25, from Longview, Texas, will make his full-season MotoGP debut in 2010. Edwards, 35, from Conroe, Texas, will enter his eighth MotoGP season next year and his third consecutive season with the Tech 3 team.
Spies moved to the Superbike World Championship in 2009 after winning his third consecutive American Motorcyclist Association Superbike title in 2008. He has enjoyed a superb rookie season in World Superbike with the Yamaha factory team, winning 12 of the first 24 races. He is second in the series standings, just three points out of the lead with four races remaining.
In 2008, Spies impressed the MotoGP paddock with three strong performances as a wild-card rider. He qualified eighth in wet conditions in his MotoGP debut in the British Grand Prix, finished eighth in the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif., and finished sixth in the inaugural Red Bull Indianapolis GP in September at IMS.
Edwards is sixth in the MotoGP standings this season, with a best finish of second in the British Grand Prix on July 26. He is the top American and the top non-factory team rider in the standings this season.
"I am delighted that Colin will remain with the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team in 2010," said Herve Poncharal, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team manager. "He has proved once again in 2009 that he remains one of the world’s best riders.
"It also gives me great pleasure to welcome Ben to Tech 3. It’s a very exciting prospect having a rider of Ben’s caliber join our team. Everybody is aware that he is a rider with incredible talent and huge potential, which he has proved with some outstanding performances for Yamaha in World Superbikes this season. And I have no doubt that together with Tech 3, Yamaha and Monster that Ben will be a big success in 2010 in MotoGP. Colin and Ben together means Tech 3 will arguably field its strongest-ever lineup, and everybody in the team can look forward to 2010 with tremendous excitement and optimism."