That Ben Spies will be moving to MotoGP in 2009 is common knowledge. For over a year now, Spies has talked openly of wanting to make the switch to the premier class of motorcycle racing, and has always spoken of doing so with Suzuki. A logical choice, given Spies' (relatively) long association with the marque. But lately, progress towards this goal has stalled, as problems have arisen over the price of leasing a GSV-R from Suzuki. Jorge Martinez, boss of the Aspar team which dominates both the 125 and 250 classes, has already complained in private of the amount of money which Suzuki wants for a bike, and is currently in talks with Ducati for a bike to run rising 250 star Alvaro Bautista on in MotoGP next season.
Now, it is starting to become apparent just how determined Spies is to get into MotoGP. Motorcycle News is reporting that Spies' manager Doug Gonda has approached Ducati about a ride in 2009. With both factory seats ostensibly taken for next year, Casey Stoner's contract running through 2010 and Marco Melandri still under contract to ride for 2009, Spies' only hope would be a ride with the Alice Ducati satellite team run by Luis d'Antin. That is not currently such an attractive prospect, with the Alice team consistently at the rear of the field, though Toni Elias' results have started to show some promise. But with speculation rampant that Marco Melandri could try and get out of his contract with Ducati as early as possible - with some talk of Melandri leaving even before the season ends - that could open up avenues for Spies to move straight into the factory Ducati team.
After a positively febrile silly season in 2007, we had expected that 2008 would be a little bit quieter on the riders front. So far, the facts are proving us wrong.