It's Official: Spies To Tech 3 For 2010

MotoGP's current worst-kept secret is finally out: Ben Spies has now officially signed to ride for the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha team in MotoGP in 2010. In a press release issued just a few minutes ago, the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha team officially announced their rider line up for 2010, and it's going to be Team Texas. Spies will partner Colin Edwards for next season, whose widely-rumored contract was also made official at Estoril.

Spies signing has a number of repercussions, the most interesting of which occur next year. First of all, it puts pressure on the young Texan to win the World Superbike title this season, as this is likely to be his only chance for the foreseeable future. Secondly, Spies switch to Tech 3 underlines Yamaha's embarrassment of riches in the rider department, the Texan joining Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi at the Sign of the Tuning Forks.

Which puts Yamaha in a very strong position next season, when a bidding war is expected to be unleashed, with all of the Fantastic Four - Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner, as well as Lorenzo and Rossi - will be in the last year of their contracts. With Spies ready to move up to the factory Fiat Yamaha team if needed, Yamaha can afford to pick their riders more carefully. They can afford to let either Jorge Lorenzo or Valentino Rossi go - though Rossi's loss would be a huge marketing blow, at the very least - and still have a very strong team.

This presupposes that Spies lives up to the hype he has generated by steamrollering the World Superbike field in his rookie year. There are doubts over Spies' size, as he is a little taller and a little more solidly built in comparison to what is generally regarded as the ideal for MotoGP. But Spies' outings on the Suzuki in 2007 were sufficiently impressive to leave little room for doubt that he will at least be competitive on a MotoGP bike, though the question of whether he can match the pace of the Fantastic Four is still wide open. 

Spies will not be left to attempt this on his own. Spies will be bringing with him his crew chief Tom Houseworth and mechanic Gregory Wood, both of whom are regarded as being crucial to Spies' success in World Superbikes. Bringing House and Woody was almost certainly one of Spies' main prerequisites for moving up to the MotoGP class.

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I have to admit I wasn't on board when the announcement was made to keep Ben in WSBK for 2010. I understood it but I wasn't too thrilled about it. This announcement seems almost anti-climactic by comparison. But make no mistake HE IS READY!

A lot has been said about Spies' size, but isn't he about the same height as Simoncelli? Is it that Ben is a bit thicker? He did mention in an interview that he would drop another 5 pounds when he moves to GPs.

So, aside from wondering if his style, size and talent will work in GP (I'm going to say "Yes", as his '08 outings on the Suzuki were positive), I am wondering about his technical support from Yamaha while he is at Tech 3.

What do you fellas think? Pseudo-factory M1 or straight up customer bike? And has anyone come across an article on the issue yet (yes, I know it's early, but never too early to start guessing!).

Spies will receive what you so beautifully term a pseudo-factory M1. He will be just a couple of steps behind the Fiat Yamaha team, though his first priority is getting used to the bike, not trying to win.

I'm a bit surprised that it was announced right now but not surprised at all at the announcement. For those that are still doubting his ability, keep your eyes open. :)

I think MotoVegas hit it right, Psuedo-factory M1. His bike won't be exactly the same as Lorenzo's or Rossi's but will be damn close. Yamaha would be stupid not to give him a great bike to learn and race on. To do otherwise might only stifle his development.

Now, he just needs to put his head down and win the WSBK championship so I can win that wager I made before the season started.

Silly season 2010 should be very interesting to see with ALL of the top riders up for contracts.

I don't think there's many people who doubt his ability. It's just worth keeping it in perspective when we're talking MotoGP - Spies will be up against four of the best riders we've seen in 10+ years and to expect him to waltz in and beat them is a little far fetched.

I personally expect to see some special things from him given the cool head and perfect racecraft we've seen in 2009, but I'm thinking podiums rather than wins (2011 might be a different story). Simoncelli will probably make a similar impact.

I agree completely, as I did with your comments on Vermeulen. Spies is a particularly interesting rider and may have the keys to the kingdom but he is still a long way from proving it. However, whatever he does, I expect him to be a real force in MotoGP but there is a lot of work to be done.

I don't think folks are "...making excuses..." for Spies. But rather are interested in knowing what type of equipment Spies is going to get while at Tech 3. Obviously, he's not going to get Vale/Jorge parts the same week they do. But it's good to know (according to Emmett) that Spies will be acquiring what I like to call a "psuedo-factory" bike; namely a bike that is a few parts and pieces behind the lead factory bikes, and being supported throughout the year with constant updates.

I doubt anyone (including Spies) is expecting more than 5th out of him (his public position is he's aiming for 6th-8th) in '10. For me personally, my hope (better described as a dream?) is he lands a 4th position in the '10 championship points. A stretch? Sure, admittedly so. But us Yanks can dream can't we?

PS Thanks for the insight on the bike Emmett

i believe spies could get 5th or 6th next year with possibly a couple of podiums. it would be great to see but lets remmeber who hes up against, particularly the 2 marcos and obviously colin. the top 4 i still believe are out of his like to be proved wrong though