Ben Spies: MotoGP Rookie of the Year

Ben Spies MotoGP

Ben Spies secured the MotoGP Rookie of the Year award on his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 M1 in a hard fought fifth place in the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix.

The 27-lap MotoGP race started under sunny skies. Spies made a flying start from the front row of the grid but slipped back to sixth after nearly colliding with fellow Yamaha M1 rider and new world champion Jorge Lorenzo as the field jostled for motorcycle-racing position at turn two.

The 26-year-old Ben Spies from Texas, was back in the hunt for his third podium by lap five, executing thrilling overtakes to move by fellow American Ducati rider Nicky Hayden and Marco Simoncelli on his Honda RC212V.

But a small rookie mistake under heavy braking for the perilously fast first turn dropped Spies back to sixth on lap eight of the MotoGP contest.

Spies quickly regained his composure and restarted his challenge with Hayden while Yamaha M1 rider Valentino Rossi pulled clear.

Spies displayed his expertise on worn tires with a magnificent attack on Simoncelli to ensure his 2010 MotoGP Rookie of the Year title with two motorcycle races remaining.

And his latest top six result means he will also finish top Non-Factory MotoGP Rider in 2010 in addition to his MotoGP Rookie Title.

Ben Spies (Yamaha M1) says: “Towards the end of the race I was running similar times to those ahead of me and that’s all I can do. I’m happy to be the 2010 MotoGP Rookie of the Year.”

“I beat a lot of good guys for that and it will be an achievement I can be proud of at the end of the MotoGP season. I’ve had some good results on this three-week stretch and I’m now looking forward to the last two rounds,” explains the still up and coming motorcycle racing sensation.

MotoGP Rookie of the Year Points after Phillip Island

  1. SPIES, Ben from America (Yamaha M1) 163
  2. SIMONCELLI, Marco from Italy (Honda RC212V) 102
  3. BARBERA, Hector from Spain (Ducati GP10) 76
  4. BAUTISTA, Alvaro from Spain (Suzuki GSV) 73
  5. ESPARGARO, Aleix from Spain (Ducati GP10) 60
  6. AOYAMA, Hiroshi from Japan – (Honda RC212V) 47

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One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007 and is currently Editor at Large at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of 365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).