MotoGP organizers are re-opening discussion for the series’ rookie rule which prevents new riders from entering the series with factory teams. Introduced following the 2009 MotoGP season, the rule was designed to give satellite teams the chance to field young up-and-coming talents they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to sign. The theory was the rule […]
Ben Spies Signs Contract Extension with Yamaha
Elbowz locked in for 2012 MotoGP season
Yamaha has signed Ben Spies to a one-year contract extension to continue racing on its MotoGP factory team in 2012.
The extension comes after Spies, currently seventh in the Championship standings, recorded his first podium finish of the 2011 season, a third place result at Catalunya. Spies earned two other podium finishes in 2010 in his Rookie of the Year winning debut in the class with the Tech 3 satellite team. Prior to that, Spies won the 2009 World Superbike Championship for Yamaha.
“I am very happy to say that I will remain a part of the Yamaha family,” says Spies, “and that I will continue in the MotoGP series for 2012. This is a privileged time of my career riding for the most successful team in recent years at the very highest racing level. Yamaha has been great in supporting me through World Superbike and on to MotoGP and I want to thank them for all they have done, and for giving me their trust to continue in MotoGP in 2012.”
Spies’ 2011 season has been almost a mirror of his 2010 campaign. Spies gained 36 points after five rounds in both seasons, including a podium in round five both times and DNFs in the second and third rounds. The sixth round takes place this weekend, June 10-12 at Silverstone in the U.K., where Spies earned his first career MotoGP podium with a last-lap pass on Ducati’s Nicky Hayden.
MotoGP 2011 Catalunya Results
Press release after the jump.
Yamaha confirm Ben Spies contract extension
Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. and Ben Spies have signed a one year extension to the current rider agreement that will see Ben Spies continue as a Yamaha Factory Racing rider in 2012.
Lin Jarvis, Managing Director of Yamaha Motor Racing, said “We are obviously delighted to announce the continuation of our partnership with Ben for the 2012 season and we hope that he will remain at Yamaha for many years to come. Ben has shown his ability to successfully compete at the highest level; firstly by becoming Yamaha’s first World Superbike champion in 2009 and then attaining the status of Best Rookie in 2010 with the Tech3 Yamaha Team.
His transition to the Yamaha Factory Racing team in 2011 has just begun and we have every confidence in Ben’s abilities and high potential for the future. This timely decision now allows us to concentrate on the present championship and, in parallel, to prepare for our 2012 MotoGP program with the change to the 1000cc bikes.”
“I am very happy to say that I will remain a part of the Yamaha family,” said Ben Spies, “and that I will continue in the MotoGP series for 2012. This is a privileged time of my career riding for the most successful team in recent years at the very highest racing level. Yamaha has been great in supporting me through World Superbike and on to MotoGP and I want to thank them for all they have done, and for giving me their trust to continue in MotoGP in 2012. I especially would like to say thank you to Lin Jarvis and Masahiko Nakajima for their support.”