250 cc pilota.
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Uppsala, Sweden
Spies confirmed at Tech 3 for 2010.
Good move and the smart choice at his stage in his career.
Yamaha Motor Company., Ltd herewith confirms that Ben Spies, currently 2nd in the World Superbike Championship, will be moving to the MotoGP Championship in 2010 to join the Tech 3 Yamaha Team. The Texan recently signed a two-year deal with Yamaha, which originally planned for him to remain in World Superbike for one more year before moving to MotoGP in 2011, but Spies and Yamaha together have decided to advance the move by one year. The 25-year-old is currently just three points behind and has just two more World Superbike rounds to contest in his efforts to win his and Yamaha’s first World Superbike title.
“I want to thank Yamaha globally for their faith in me,” said Spies. “They have treated me like royalty! Yamaha just recently allowed me to rethink my contract for 2010-2011; I did sign for WSB for 2010 but after Indy I began thinking of the competition and my age versus waiting until 2011. This was not an easy decision, the Yamaha World Superbike Team crew and especially Massimo (Maio) Meregalli have been fantastic and it’s been great fun to put in a season together. I am hoping that I can give Maio, Laurens Klein Koerkamp and everyone else a championship to remember this year with me. My thanks also extend to ‘Infront’, the promoter of the WSB series, especially Paolo Ciabatti. I have enjoyed his series and this first year racing in Europe. Now I have two challenges, to complete this year giving my best and to move towards new goals in MotoGP. Herve Poncharal at Tech 3 is showing his support by allowing me to come on board with my Crew Chief Tom Houseworth and Gregory Wood, my mechanic, who have both been with me since AMA days. We will have learning curves to overcome next year but I am up for the new goal. I hope to have a good year and my goal is to try and stay in the top 6-8 which, given the talented line up, will be a tall order. With the world upside down, there is one constant for me and that's Yamaha.”
Lin Jarvis, Managing Director of Yamaha Motor Racing, said “Following the announcement of Ben’s two year deal with Yamaha one month ago, he has reassessed his options and decided that he would like to move to MotoGP sooner rather than later. Yamaha has considered his request and together with Tech 3 we were able to find a way to make it happen. Ben has done a fantastic job in his rookie season in World Superbike and we are very excited to now be welcoming him into our MotoGP program sooner than we originally expected. We believe that Ben will be a fast learner next season and a strong future championship contender. We look forward to working with him in the years ahead“
Laurens Klein Koerkamp of Yamaha Motor Europe commented, "Of course we’re sorry to see Ben leave Yamaha’s World Superbike program and we are currently enjoying a fantastic season with him, but it’s clear that it’s the right decision for Ben’s career and for Yamaha. One of Yamaha’s goals is to bring up future MotoGP talent through Superbike and it is satisfying for us to see that this rider development route is working. Before he moves we still have some serious business to finish with Ben this year at the remaining two rounds!
“Although Ben will be missed I have no doubt that our new World Superbike line-up for next year will see us once again challenging for the title. We will be cheering loudly for Ben in MotoGP and we look forward to seeing him on the YZR-M1.”
Toseland will move over to Yamaha at WSBK and will partner Cal Crutchlow in that team.
The Yamaha World Superbike Team are proud to announce an all-British rider team for the 2010 season, with double World Superbike Champion James Toseland making a welcome return to the paddock. The popular 28-year-old recognised world wide as the UK’s number 1 rider has taken the opportunity to stay in the Yamaha family replacing Spies and moving across from the Yamaha Tech 3 MotoGP satellite team. Toseland enjoyed a strong rookie season in MotoGP in 2008 and has been a regular protagonist in the mid pack battles over the two years. His focus and commitment combined with his previous experience and success should prove a winning combination with the Yamaha team.
Partnering Toseland, current Yamaha World Supersport rider Cal Crutchlow moves up to the 1000cc class next year. 24yr old Crutchlow has been enjoying an incredible rookie year in the World Supersport Championship and with two rounds remaining, championship leader Crutchlow can already claim nine pole position starts, five race wins and numerous lap records on unknown circuits in his debut appearance on the world stage. His move from the World Supersport team to World Superbike is a natural progression and reflects Yamaha’s nurturing of young riders, allowing them to grow within the Yamaha Racing family. Crutchlow has already proved talented on a Superbike, ending the 2008 British Superbike season third in the standings alongside two wildcard appearances in World Superbike in 2008 which saw him score an impressive 2nd place finish on the podium at Donington and a ninth place at Portimao for the season finale.
“I’m looking forward to return to World Superbikes,” said James Toseland. “I want to show I’m still the rider that can win world titles. Of course there is some disappointment at losing my opportunity in MotoGP as I believe the challenge was still achievable, but the R1 has proven to be beyond the strongest bikes in Superbike and I know many of the Yamaha World Superbike Team guys, so I’m going to pick up where I left off and give 100% to achieving good results with the team. Within Superbike there were a few options available to me, however the way Yamaha have treated me since I joined them has been outstanding. They gave me a great opportunity in MotoGP, but now I do wish Ben all the best in his campaign and my aim is to continue Yamaha’s success in World Superbike.”
“I’m happy to stay to be staying with Yamaha,” said Cal Crutchlow. “This will be my second year of my two year contract as agreed when I started in Supersport this year. Moving up to World Superbike will be a great challenge, I’m looking forward to it and am under no illusion as to how hard it is but I intend to do a good job. I’m also looking forward to riding with another Brit. Ben is obviously doing really well this year and I wish him luck for the last two WSB rounds and next year in MotoGP. It’s great to be working with Yamaha again in 2010.”
“We are very excited about our 2010 rider line up,” said Laurens Klein Koerkamp, Racing Manager, Yamaha Motor Europe. “The experience of James combined with the fresh talent of Cal should make it a very competitive and successful combination to challenge for the title again in 2010. I have no doubt that James will be as strong in World Superbike as before, or even stronger with the added experience he picked up in MotoGP and we’re all very happy he stays with Yamaha. For Cal it’s a natural progression for both us and him to move up to the Yamaha World Superbike Team. As a successful R6 Cup rider in the past and having proven his talent yet again in World Supersport this year we want to continue developing his career within Yamaha.”
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