Motorcycle Racing News Spies & Factory Yamaha for 2011 MotoGP

Spies & Factory Yamaha for 2011 MotoGP

MotoGP News

The announcement came sooner than expected, but it was made official Friday at Indy: Ben Spies will pilot the Factory Yamaha bike for the 2011 MotoGP season. Spies, currently riding on the satellite Monster Tech 3 Yamaha team, will replace the vacancy left by nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi, who signed with Ducati for 2011.

Ben Spies says: "My first year in MotoGP has been a great learning curve and for that I have to thank Herve Poncharal, all the team at Tech 3 and especially my American mechanics who have stuck by me throughout this great journey so far. Having previously been to only four of the ten tracks to date, I have to be pleased with where I am and with having achieved my first podium so soon."

"I’m especially pleased that Yamaha have recognized the potential in me and given me the opportunity to step up to the Factory Team so early in my GP career. I believe that by working closely with the Yamaha staff and my mechanics we will be able to help develop the M1 and make the next step of challenging for regular podiums, followed by future championships."

Spies, 26, is currently the leading rookie in the 2010 MotoGP Championship, sitting in seventh position with 90 points. The Texan also achieved a best result of fourth at the last round in Brno. At the same race in the Czech Republic, Spies placed his Yamaha second on the grid after some blistering qualifying times.

The managing director of Yamaha Motor Racing, Lin Jarvis, leaked the decision after the Brno testing last Monday, where Spies tried out a 2011 MotoGP Yamaha M1.

Lin Jarvis says: "We’re delighted that Ben will join the Factory Team for next season. Ben has shown great promise in his first ten MotoGP races. He has learnt rapidly and recorded strong results, including a well-deserved podium finish at Silverstone – impressive for someone in their first full season."

"We believe that Ben will be a future title contender and that he will be a good fit with our team. His mission next year will be to continue learning, consistently challenge for podium places and try to win some races."

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank Herve Poncharal and the Tech 3 Team for taking care of Ben this season and for giving him such good training for the years ahead. I hope that he will repay them by getting some more podium results in the second half of this season and helping them to secure top satellite team status at the end of this year."

Spies, who also won the 2009 World Superbike Championship on a Yamaha YZF-R1, will be racing before a home crowd this weekend at the Red Bull Indy GP, Round 11 of the 2010 MotoGP Championship.

2021 Indian Challenger Lineup First Look: Photos, Prices, and Colors

The performance-oriented Challenger bagger lineup from Indian returns for 2021, with three models to choose from. All three 2021 Indian Challenger models get the...

2021 GasGas Motocross Lineup First Look (Specs and Photos)

When under Spanish ownership, GasGas was never known as a motocross brand. However, under the guidance of Pierer Mobility AG and Bajaj Auto—the owners...

2021 Indian Chieftain Lineup First Look: 3 Big-Inch Baggers

There are three baggers in the 2021 Indian Chieftain lineup, with just a few changes to the motorcycles this year. There are new colors,...

2021 GasGas Trial Lineup First Look (8 Fast Facts: 3 TXT Racing Models)

The first GasGas motorcycles of the Pierer Mobility AG and Bajaj Auto era have arrived. Those who were expecting wholesale redesigns of the line...

Lieback’s Lounge: This Will All Pass [Thoughts on Simic and Motorcycles]

There is a menace in the air Of tragedies in the making. These lines are from "Late September," written by the American minimalist poet Charles Simic....

Racing Classic Motorcycles: First You Have to Finish by Andy Reynolds [Review]

Author Andy Reynolds’ new book, Racing Classic Motorcycles: First You Have to Finish, is about a man livin’ the classic motorcycle racing dream—with some...