The Fiat Yamaha MotoGP team has confirmed their intention of bring American and former Rookie Superbike World Champion, Ben Spies, over to the factory team for the 2011 motorcycle racing season.
This admission follows the confirmation that Valentino Rossi is indeed headed to ride the Ducati GP11 bike for the Italian factory for the next two years.
The official announcement of Rossi’s departure from Yamaha spells one very familiar yet extremely formidable challenge to the Japanese factory’s future MotoGP campaigns.
Lin Jarvis, Managing Director of Yamaha Motor Racing, explained to motogp.com that contract negotiations for the 2011 and beyond seasons are currently in progress.
Lin Jarvis says: “Our plan is that we would obviously like to continue with Jorge who is having such a wonderful year at the moment. We are working closely with him and his management to try and close the deal. I’m optimistic that in the near future I hope we can achieve that.”
“Our plan is also to bring Ben Spies over from the Tech 3 team. Again that has not been concluded yet. As soon as all the contractual agreements are fixed then we will make our announcement. At this moment that’s the plan for the factory team.”
“It was a sad day (Sunday) because even though we have known about his (Valentino Rossi) decision for some weeks when you make the public announcement it becomes a fact.”
As of the Brno round, the likely 2010 MotoGP Championship Title winners are without rider contracts for the 2011 season.
As told, the Yamaha MotoGP Team would like to once again to secure Jorge Lorenzo while having Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rookie Ben Spies alongside the Spaniard on the grid to assure the continued success they have enjoyed since the arrival of Rossi back in 2004.
Rossi made history by moving to Yamaha in 2004 and winning the season-opening Grand Prix in South Africa, becoming the first rider in the history of the sport to win back-to-back premier class races for different manufacturers.
He went on to win nine out of 16 races, finally clinching the World Championship title, Yamaha`s first for 12 years, with victory at the penultimate Grand Prix in Phillip Island. A final win at the Valencia Grand Prix also ensured that the Yamaha Factory Team won the team title.
Rossi dominated the 2005 season, winning eleven races in total, taking five pole positions and only finishing off the podium once. In doing he became one of only five riders in the history of the sport to win the premier-class title on five occasions.
He also helped Yamaha to win the Manufacturers’ and Team titles, ensuring Yamaha celebrated its 50th Anniversary with one of its best ever years in Grand Prix.