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Tom Houseworth on working with Ben Spies

Tom Houseworth on working with Ben Spies

The American rider’s crew chief at Monster Yamaha Tech3 talks about what he expects from Spies’ full debut season in MotoGP in a video interview.

Alongside Ben Spies at Monster Yamaha Tech3 in 2010 will be Tom Houseworth, the rider’s fellow American and crew chief. Houseworth was part of the set-up of Spies’ world superbike championship winning team last year, and brings his expertise across to MotoGP with the rider.

“I started in AMA in the late 80s and worked my way up, and I’ve been with Ben since 2003,” started Houseworth, before explaining his role as crew chief with Spies in the Tech3 set-up. “I basically take whatever Ben has on the track and get it to the engineer and our data guys, and try and get the best package for Ben for race day.”

He continued: “For me he is really good. He is one of the few riders I’ve had who will come in and say: ‘It’s me, it’s not the bike: I have to go a little faster before we change anything’. That’s really refreshing. You can have a guy who will go out for three laps and say the bike is a pile of junk, but Ben never does that. He will make sure he is up to speed before he changes anything so that’s a real plus on our side.”

An impressive display at the second Sepang test from Spies has heightened expectations ahead of the 2010 season, although Houseworth says the main focus remains on the rider continuing to learn the M1 bike.

“As far as targets go, I know Ben said top ten or top five,” said Houseworth. “Top ten’s going to be good, and obviously deep down we’re going to want to win. Is that possible? I don’t know. We’ll have to wait until the first few races and see where we stand. He’s just been learning the bike. We haven’t really pushed it too hard, we barely changed anything and it’s just a matter of Ben learning the limits of this particular bike, and then we’ll see where it happens.”

Looking further into the future and asked whether Spies could be a future MotoGP World Champion, Houseworth said: “I don’t see why not. My opinion is that he is as good as anybody out there. As far as getting the right equipment and the right team together, which we’re trying to do, you’ll see what happens in the future.”

MotoGP, 2010, Ben Spies, Monster Yamaha Tech 3

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