It’s not official yet, but during the Red Bull Indy GP conference, Ben Spies told the MotoGP moderator that an announcement of his 2011 move within Yamaha will be made during this weekend’s race.
Ben Spies says: “I think you know with a few riders there’s been the worst-kept secrets of all, but like I said, I don’t think a whole lot of people will be shocked. But we have an announcement coming this weekend, and that’s pretty much all I can say right now.”
The announcement: the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider will likely move up to the factory Fiat Yamaha team, replacing Valentino Rossi. This will make him teammates with Jorge Lorenzo, who will remain with Fiat Yamaha next year.
Yamaha Motor Racing MD Lin Jarvis confirmed last week at the Brno testing that negotiations were under way for Spies’ graduation to the team for 2011. Jarvis also said the announcement will be made this weekend at Indianapolis, Round 11 of the 2010 MotoGP Championship.
Jarvis’ talk of “graduation” is regarding the MotoGP regulation that states a rookie rider must complete a year on a satellite team before moving to a factory team. Spies had his ride this year on the satellite team next to fellow Texan Colin Edwards, and what a ride it’s been in the first 10 races.
During the last round at Brno, the 26-year-old rookie had a best finish of fourth at the Czech Republic Grand Prix after accomplishing his best start of the year – second on the grid.
This is just one of many. Here’s a list of Ben Spies Stats that showcase his talent in motorcycle racing.
- Following the Czech GP, Spies heads the race for Rookie of the year in MotoGP by 36 points from reigning 250cc world champion Marco Simoncelli.
- Spies is also the leading non-factory rider in the current championship standings with a 15 point advantage over the next best non-factory rider Randy de Puniet.
- Spies has been the first Rookie rider across the line at six of the first ten races of the year.
- Spies has finished as the best of the non-factory riders at five of the opening ten races of 2010.
- Spies’ third-place finish at Silverstone is the only time this year that a Rookie rider has finished on the podium and it is the only podium finish for a non-factory rider so far in 2010.
- At the Czech Grand Prix Spies became the first Rookie this year to qualify on the front row of the grid.
Spies is currently in seventh place in the championship with 90 points, and will be on the track Friday during the first free practice session of the Red Bull GP at Indy. His announcement is expected on Sunday after the 3 p.m. (EST) race.