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Old 10-03-2009, 09:36 AM   #1
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Spies on MotoGP... Interview

Thought some might be interested in this...



Following months of speculation, Ben Spies finally confirmed that he will be a MotoGP rider in 2010. Having secured nine pole positions, six fastest laps and 12 race wins in his rookie season, the 25 year old American is under no illusion of the mammoth task ahead of him when he makes the switch to MotoGP in 2010.

Spies said: ďWhen I do make the move I know that Iím not going to be battling Valentino or Jorge Ė Iím not stupid. As a rider Iím ok with that because I know that those guys are the best riders in the world.

ďIím only 25 and Iíve got a good ten years of racing left. Iím not afraid to go and get beat and my goal in GPís would be to go and finish in the top eight every weekend. Iím not blind to how hard itís going to be, but Iím not scared of trying it either. If I finish in fifth place and I see that itís Dani, Casey, Jorge and Valentino in front of me Iím not going to be disappointed about it. I know how good those guys are so then it would be a matter of time.Ē

The biggest challenge he faces is getting to a level where he can push an 800cc prototype race bike with high grip Bridgestone tires to the limit. Having spent a career racing Superbikes he took a matter of minutes to find the limits of the Yamaha when he arrived in WSB, but in MotoGP it wonít be that simple, as Britain ís James Toseland has found out.
Current points leader and Yamaha rider Ben Spies 19 will have his work cut out for him in Imola.
Can he win the World Superbike title before he heads off to MotoGP?
ďThere is an extremely big learning curve with a GP bike compared with a Superbike. In GPís youíve got a bike and tires that can do so much more than in WSB and youíve got to learn to push it to the limit.Ē

While Spies remains realistic about his chances of success he remains confident that itís down to a matter of being given the time to adapt.

ďI think talent wise and given enough seat time I can be competitive, but how long that will take and how I adapt to it I donít know. I know that the first year I go to MotoGP Iím probably not going to step on the podium.Ē

In recent years there have been inevitable comparisons between WSB and MotoGP riders. History shows that Superbike riders have generally been unable to make the grade in MotoGP. Obvious exceptions are 2006 world champion Nicky Hayden and 2006 Valencia race winner Troy Bayliss, but both men achieved success on the big horsepower 990s and there has been less for WSB men to shout about since the class switched the high-corner-speed 800s. Unlike Toseland, who went to MotoGP with no experience, Spies has at least raced in the class in 2008 onboard the Rizla Suzuki, with a best result of sixth place.

Valentino Rossi - Qatar Test
"Iím not talking in a big headed way, but if you brought Rossi to WSB, I donít doubt that heís going to be there and he could beat me and thatís fine, but heís not going to beat me by 30 seconds - there is no way." - Spies.
ďI used to be a better 600 rider that I was on a Superbike, but I accept that Iím going to have to adapt well. Itís a big change, I know because Iíve ridden one. When I was on the Suzuki I know how comfortable I was, which wasnít very, and I know that it wasnít the best bike out there. There are a lot of differences between the two classes and it will take time and whether I can do it I donít know. What I know is that I can ride a Superbike with the best of them and now I want to find out if I can do the same in MotoGP.

ďIím not talking in a big headed way, but if you brought Rossi to WSB, I donít doubt that heís going to be there and he could beat me and thatís fine, but heís not going to beat me by 30 seconds - there's no way. For sure on a GP bike itís definitely possible he could beat me by a big margin because he is used to those limits. But if you took a mid-pack guy from GP and threw him on a Superbike Ė he isnít going to win.Ē
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Old 10-03-2009, 10:28 AM   #2
Twist the Grip, Let'r Rip
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Good to see he is'nt letting it go to his head and he's keeping sight of the big picture.
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Old 10-03-2009, 10:35 AM   #3
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I see that he'll be running Valencia MotoGP. That should be interesting. I wonder if they'll supply a reliveried factory bike as is suspect for next year, or if it will be just like Colin's.
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