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Ben Spies

Spies emerged to prominence in his native USA partly thanks to his spectacular riding style, but also his results which saw a third AMA Superbike Championship claimed in 2008, being only the fourth individual in the history of the series to win the title three consecutive times.

The young Texan preceded his hat trick of AMA Championship wins with a 2nd place in the standings in 2005, winning the AMA Superbike race at California Speedway and adding no less than 13 podium finishes to his tally for the year. Prior to this he raced for three years in the AMA Supersport Championship, with some notable successes, including winning the Infineon Speedway round of the 2004 championship along with two further podiums that year.

Ben is no stranger to MotoGP. He replaced the injured Loris Capirossi at the 2008 British GP and secured a 14th place finish. He went on to sample three more wild-card rides, scoring a brilliant eighth place finish at Laguna Seca and an even more impressive 6th at Indianapolis. His final outing before joining his current crew (and first with the M1) took place in Sterilgarda colours when he carved through the pack at the 2009 season-closer at Valencia for 7th spot.

In 2009 as Yamaha’s first ever World Superbike Champion, Spies made an indelible impression in his first year in Europe, not only proving his ability and level of dedication but also an uncanny talent for mastering unseen tracks and demonstrating the potency of the YZF-R1. With a historic maiden WSB attempt, Spies put himself into contention to become just the second American MotoGP champion this century, joining Yamaha Monster Energy Tech 3 for his premiership debut in 2010.

This season sees Ben Spies continue his journey within the Yamaha family. After a hugely successful first year in MotoGP in 2010 with the Tech3 Yamaha Team, Spies took the well earned Rookie of the Year title, ending the season as not just the highest placed rookie rider, but the highest placed satellite rider with sixth in the standings. Spies continued to display the form that won him the 2009 World Superbike Championship, adapting quickly to unknown tracks and scoring an impressive pole position start for his home race at Indianapolis along with two podium finishes over the year. This season the young Texan steps up to partner reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo, riding together for Yamaha Factory Racing.

When he’s not racing Ben is likely to be found a long way from the hustle and noise of the racetrack, chilling out with some fishing time and getting some peace and quiet! He has a residence near Lake Como in Italy. He has also launched his own cycling team this year, raising money for charity while they race.

Career

2011 MotoGP

  • Only the second World Superbike rider to win a MotoGP race.
  • First GP win for an American since 2006.
  • By winning in Assen, Spies joins fellow American Yamaha riders Kenny Roberts, Wayne Rainey, and Eddie Lawson as premier class GP winners. (cyclenews.com)
  • Added to the roster of American GP winners, starting with his mentor Kevin Schwantz, and continuing with Nicky Hayden, Kenny Roberts Jr., Randy Mamola, Freddie Spencer, John Kocinski, Jimmy Filice, and Pat Hennen (the first American to win a 500cc GP).

2010 MotoGP

  • 2010 MotoGP “Rookie of the Year” with 176 points.
  • 6th place in 2010 MotoGP season.

2009 World Superbike

  • 2009 World Superbike Champion in his Rookie Year.
  • The World Champion with the highest number of poles in his winning year, eleven, posting also the all-time season record of poles.
  • Spies broke the long-standing record of 6 consecutive poles set in 1991 by fellow Texan Doug Polen, with 7 consecutive poles in a season.
  • Most poles at the start of a season.
  • Most poles in a row by a rookie.
  • Circuit Lap Record at Losail, Qatar.
  • The first American to win a WSBK race since Colin Edwards in 2002.
  • The First World Champion for Yamaha World Superbike Team.
  • Third in the age ranking with 25 years 3 months and 14 days, behind James Toseland who in 2004 won the title at 23 years 11 months and 28 days and Troy Corser, who won in 1996 at 24 years and 11 months.