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Suzuki confirm Spies wildcard appearances

Suzuki confirm Spies wildcard appearances

American rider Ben Spies will make his Grand Prix debut at Laguna Seca in July, with a further ride at Indianapolis, it has been confirmed.

Rizla Suzuki have confirmed the participation of Ben Spies at two of this year´s MotoGP rounds on a third GSV-R, making official a decision widely anticipated throughout the paddock.

AMA Superbike champion Spies has tested the Suzuki 800cc machine on one previous occasion, with an extensive test carried out in a `journalistic´ capacity the Monday after the 2007 season-closer in Valencia. Feedback was positive, and since then his involvement in the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix and inaugural Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix was spoken of as if it was a done deal.

This Thursday Paul Denning from Rizla Suzuki gave a definitive `yes´ to the question of Spies´ involvement alongside regular riders Chris Vermeulen and Loris Capirossi, and explained the reasons behind the drafting in of the American.

`We´re quite excited to be able to officially discuss the fact that Ben will be riding a third Rizla Suzuki bike at both Laguna Seca and Indianapolis,´ said the Briton, eager to see what Spies can do at both tracks.

`It will be very interesting to see where Ben can run, given the fact that nobody has ridden at Indianapolis. He´ll have done a couple of days testing as per his role as a wildcard rider for Bridgestone before that.

`Laguna Seca is a track at which he is particularly good; it´s where he won the championship in the AMA last year with his ride there. For Suzuki he´s a great rider with a good attitude and work ethic, who´s been with Suzuki all his professional career.´

The presence of Spies, and the chance that fellow American Roger Lee Hayden will also be on track for both dates as part of Kawasaki´s wild card allocation, mean that the home presence will be beefed up for the Stateside sojourns. Whilst Spies´ profile is high in America, Denning does not see the decision to ride the newcomer at these specific tracks as a commercial move.

`Choosing Ben to ride in America made a lot of sense; not necessarily from a marketing point of view, but from the fact that he´ll be out of his comfort zone to start with being on a MotoGP bike. We´ll be able to assess him better after three days at Laguna, where he´s familiar with the track.´

MotoGP, 2008, Rizla Suzuki MotoGP

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