It’s official, Yamaha announced today that Ben Spies will remain in World Superbike with the Yamaha factory team for the 2010 season. However in 2011, Spies will move up to MotoGP series, where he’ll join a Yamaha satellite team (likely Tech3 Yamaha).
Yamaha has been impressed with the young American, who is expected to take the points lead in the World Superbike Championship this weekend in Germany. Echoing their pleasure, Laurens Klein Koerkamp, the Racing Manager of Yamaha Motor Europe said:
“We got to know Ben this season in our Yamaha World Superbike Team as a very talented, professional and dedicated person with whom we are thrilled to continue working. Not only is the relationship between Ben, the team and Yamaha in general very successful but it’s also a pleasure to work with him. This early agreement permits Yamaha and Ben Spies to now fully focus on their 2009 World Superbike campaign in their challenge to achieve their first World Superbike Championship titles together.”
Talking about Spies’ future in MotoGP, Lin Jarvis, Managing Director of Yamaha Motor Racing, shed some insight into the progression Yamaha has laid out for the WSBK rider:
“We are truly excited about the prospect of Ben’s arrival into our future MotoGP program. Ben is doing a great job for Yamaha in his first season in the World Superbike Championship. He is in great shape to challenge for the title this year and we will be rooting for him at the remaining four events this season. Ben’s primary mission is to win both his and Yamaha’s first World Superbike title. After that when Ben eventually makes the move to the MotoGP championship we will be ready for him and, in line with the new MotoGP regulations, we will create a place for him within the Yamaha satellite team and give him the support he needs for his next challenge.”
This announcement probably leaves more questions than answers, as both seats at Tech3 Yamaha camp remain up in the air. However, it would appear Colin Edwards is an almost sure thing for staying on board with Tech3.