During his rookie year in MotoGP, Ben Spies finished sixth overall, the highest of the Satellite teams. His impressive performance aboard the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha not only earned him the 2010 MotoGP "Rookie of the Year" award, but also a ride with the factory Yamaha team.
For 2011, Spies will fill the vacancy on the factory Yamaha M1 left by Valentino Rossi, and be teammates with 2010 MotoGP Champion Jorge Lorenzo.
And the performance of Spies and his teammate Colin Edwards is one of the reasons Monster Tech 3 Boss Herve Poncharal says "2010 was Tech 3’s best MotoGP combination."
Poncharal outlined the successful 2010 Monster Tech 3 Yamaha season in an official MotoGP interview. Here are some quotes of Poncharal reviewing the 2010 season of Yamaha riders Spies and Edwards:
Herve Poncharal says: "We knew we would receive a very strong and talented rider in Ben and while we had high expectations we also knew the year would be a tough one. We have had some riders from superbikes who have had difficulties with the transition, but Ben has done incredibly well."
"Spies was Rookie of the Year and he has done more than we expected: a pole position in Indy, he led the race for seven laps and finished on the podium, had front row starts at Brno and Phillip Island, and had a podium at Silverstone too."
"We cannot forget he also had to learn the tires, the Yamaha M1, some tracks, so considering all this he has done so well. Now he’ll go to the factory team which he deserves. We are losing a very good rider, but I think we helped him understand MotoGP and now he is ready to win."
"Colin has had a strong year too. He has helped Ben in his approach to MotoGP and gave him good support, advice and information. He has been a solid team player and I’m really happy to have him for next season."
"For sure this was Tech 3’s best combination in MotoGP, because they get along and have a lot of respect for one another, and they laugh a lot together."
"I think the best moment, because it came so early, was the podium at Silverstone. Ben was incredible in difficult conditions, he had crashed on the Saturday (aggravating an injured ankle) and in the race he was just so good. It wasn’t an easy race."
"Of course we were disappointed for him at Laguna Seca (sixth position), his home race, but in the second race in the US at Indianapolis he took his chance, got pole, led the race and finished second in front of both factory riders. For me that was the second best moment."
For the 2011 Monster Tech Yamaha season, Poncharal will be managing Edwards and World Superbike sensation Cal Crutchlow.
Herve Poncharal says: "I’m really happy to have Cal next season. I think he is the best man to replace Ben. He did extremely well in 600cc (world supersport) and won that. He won a few races in his first world superbike season and finished fifth, and I think he is ready to come to MotoGP."
"He is so hungry and passionate and the kind of rider that will give 100% every day. I am very excited and it’s like a new story starting."
"I’m highly confident we can do something very strong together. I’m hopeful we can give the same support to Cal as we have to Ben, and that he can have the same results too. I am quite sure Colin will help Cal as he helped Ben. He is very fast and a team player and has played a big role in Ben’s success, and I hope he does in Cal’s too."