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Spies: Valencia ‘the first step’ for 2010

Spies: Valencia ‘the first step’ for 2010

Ben Spies will use his wildcard entry for Sunday’s race at Valencia to gain valuable knowledge of the Yamaha YZR-M1.

Having been entered as a single rider in a Yamaha factory team for this weekend’s Gran Premio Generali de la Comunitat Valenciana, Ben Spies is looking forward to familiarising himself with the YZR-M1, as he prepares to join the Tech 3 team on a full-time basis in 2010.

Yamaha announced at the start of October that the Texan would be entered for the final round of the 2009 season, and the chance to acquaint himself with the bike in a competitive environment before the end-of-season test at the Ricardo Tormo circuit next week is an added bonus for Spies.

“This weekend for me is the first step for next year,” explained Spies. “When I knew we were going to be racing here next year and the year after, I asked Yamaha if there was a possibility of racing as a wildcard. For me, the whole reason is to get more time on the bike – it’s basically three more days of testing. With the limited testing time for next year it’s important. The first test for me is the Tuesday and Wednesday after this race, and it will actually be a test instead of just the first time on the bike. That’s the most important reason for me.”

Spies continued, “Here at Valencia I’m not the person to win the race, or with the target on their back like Jorge Lorenzo, Valentino Rossi or Casey Stoner. Those are the top guys and I have nothing to prove right now. There’s no way I can do anything that they’re doing right now, it’s almost impossible. So I’m going out to learn the bike and have fun and enjoy it. My season’s pretty much over so this is more a fun race for me.”

Two practice sessions will be enough for Spies to be able to establish a realistic target for Sunday’s race, he says.

“I’ll know more on Saturday afternoon what is possible,” Spies commented. “I’d be very happy with a top-ten result for the first weekend on the bike; that would be very difficult too. I don’t know yet, after qualifying on Saturday I think I’ll know a little bit more what my chances are for the race.”

“You can’t compare a GP bike and a Superbike, they’re completely different so this is still a Yamaha, but it’s a new bike for me. With only about three hours of track time and then a race it’s going to be pretty hard to learn quickly so we’ll just take our time.”

MotoGP, 2009, GP GENERALI DE LA COMUNITAT VALENCIANA, Ben Spies, Sterilgarda Yamaha Team

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