Next year is possibly graduation time for Ben Spies, as the American is slotted to join the factory Fiat Yamaha team for the 2011 MotoGP season. If all goes as planned, the rookie will fill the vacancy left by Valentino Rossi, who has signed with Ducati for next year.
To get a taste, the current Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider of Texas tested a prototype of the 2011 Yamaha M1 at Brno on Monday, completing 36 of 42 laps on the new motorcycle. He was sixth fastest at Monday’s test, his possible future partner Jorge Lorenzo fastest on his Fiat Yamaha.
Ben Spies says: “It was a good day. I can’t say too much about the new bike and honestly I’m not sure exactly what I rode, I just got on and rode what was given to me. I didn’t set any blistering lap times today but that was not the objective. Today was all about giving feedback and getting some data on the new bike.”
“The good thing is that I was pretty much on the pace of the bike I’ve been riding since February and that is a big positive because we’ve got plenty of time to work on that bike. We got lots of information so it was a productive day.”
Spies arrived at the test coming off a positive weekend at the Czech Republic Grand Prix in Brno, Round 10 of the MotoGP Championship. Spies finished fourth after starting from second on the grid, his best qualifying of his MotoGP career.
Ben Spies says: “It was a good weekend with my first front row start and a strong fourth place in the race and after today I’m heading to Indianapolis for another home race full of confidence. I love racing in front of my home fans and hopefully I’ll be able to get my best result of the season at Indy.”
MotoGP is off this weekend, and returns for the Red Bull Indianapolis GP Aug. 24-26.