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Spies to fill Rossi’s seat at Yamaha – no surprise there!

Latest news in the game of musical chairs is that Yamaha Tech 3 rider Ben Spies will move to the factory Yamaha MotoGP team next season.

Following his multiple AMA championships for Suzuki and his 2009 WSB championship in his only year in that class on the Yamaha R1, Spies has been clearly targeted by Yamaha to fill Rossi’s boots; in fact Yamaha might have had a problem had Rossi not gone to Ducati as expected, with Spies, Lorenzo and Rossi competing for the two works bikes.

Spies is currently leading rookie and the top satellite rider, holding seventh overall in the championship.

Lin Jarvis, Managing Director of Yamaha Motor Racing, said:

“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 said:

“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.”

It will be interesting to see if Spies can challenge Lorenzo next year. And of course, we’ll also have Rossi on the Ducati in the mix. It could be a very exciting year after what has been a ratehr processional season so far in 2010.

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