Ben Spies Wildcard At Valencia Confirmed

Ben Spies has been confirmed as a wildcard entry for the final round of MotoGP at Valencia. A press release has just been issued stating that Spies is to ride in Valencia for Yamaha. The news had broken earlier, with Motorcycle News' Matt Birt reporting that an entry has already been submitted to Dorna and IRTA for the Texan to ride in the last MotoGP round of the season, and Autosport's Toby Moody correctly predicting that the wildcard entry would be confirmed today by Yamaha.

It was originally expected that Spies would ride in Yamaha's corporate blue colors, in the same vein as HRC's wildcards have done in previous years. But the BBC's Matt Roberts has just posted on social networking site Twitter that former NBA legend and motorcycle racing nut Michael Jordan is to sponsor Spies' one-off ride. Jordan has his own brand of sportswear, and has run a team in the AMA Superbike series to promote the brand previously.

Should this turn out to be true, it raises the question of whether Jordan could pull out of the AMA series and put his sponsorship budget into MotoGP. Having two Americans on the Tech 3 team would be an enormous help for Jordan in the US domestic market (despite the sport's limited popularity in the USA), but Jordan is known to want to be part of the racing, and not just sponsor it. Whether Jordan would be willing to put enough money into the team to be able to play a far more active role has to be doubted, though, but if he did switch allegiance from the AMA series to MotoGP, that would be another huge loss for the ailing AMA Pro Superbike series, which has had huge problems since being taken over by the DMG, despite the vastly improved racing which has taken place.

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Another to jump ship from Suzuki affiliation? If Jordan has enough clout, I wonder if Yamaha will go the Ducati route and make an older variant of the M1 available for sale to the public, adorned in all-white with red accents (or yellow with black and white accents).

As far as Spies being sponsored by Jordan for this one-off, I also wonder if other people from AMA Superbike would be popped in as wildcards, like Josh Hayes, another Yamaha rider. Though he is not quite as young as Spies, Hayes has been able to run with and beat Mat Mladin (even on different equipment), a rider against whom and with whom Spies raced before steamrollering WSBK.

Oh...and the big gangly Spies all clad in white, looking like a big white specter with a big red Jumpman on his frontside, should provide for the largest moving obstacle in MotoGP. Next thing you know, people will not only be doing the Rossi leg wave, but also the Spies elbow pivot to help with turn-in (they'll get extra-thick weighted padding placed on the elbow area of the suits).

wil hartog? aka- "the white giant".

i'm not a fan of the jordan livery that i've seen on the bikes and leathers thus far- they look a bit garish to me. i hope good taste prevails if jordan does sponsor the team.

The last thing MotoGP needs is an arrogant, self-centered ex-baller to sponsor a class act like Ben Spies. Not to mention it would be the ugliest bike on the grid. MJ needs to stick to Gatorade and ball hogging, two things he actually knows about.

"but if he did switch allegiance from the AMA series to MotoGP, that would be another huge loss for the ailing AMA Pro Superbike series, which has had huge problems since being taken over by the DMG, despite the vastly improved racing which has taken place"

Are you F'ing kidding me, Vastly improved racing? Like the 1125 buell racing 600's or the castration of the superbike class. Maybe the pace car has added something im not aware of.....

So off base its not even funny...

I registered on this site just so i could comment on this and ive been reading the posts on this site for months.

Also off base would be Yamaboy.
Arrogant and self centered? MJ? are we speaking of the same person here becuase you obviously dont know what you are talking about

Living in Europe, I have been unable to actually watch the races. However, from what I understand, the AMA Pro Superbike class has seen pretty exciting racing. This is what I'm told by journalists, friends who have been to the races and what I have read on forums. The organization of the series, and the bizarre rulebook, is another thing altogether. So the racing is closer and more exciting in the Superbike class than it has been for years, it's just that no one wants to go and see the races.

You've highighted a question I've been asking myself for a few years now: What defines good competition? Close racing, or demonstrated technical expertise? If the former, then a turtle race in which two or more turtles have a chance is exciting. If the latter, then a race fan can only hope lightning strikes, since more than one team/rider combo with an actual chance at any given race is about as common. Which is why MotoGP is currently in what will be referred to as a golden age in the years to come--because there are four teams with an actual chance.

DMG went for "close racing" as the definition of good competition. That's where they lost me. Roger Edmondson actually said that the average race fan wouldn't know the difference between real superbikes and the things DMG allowed to be called superbikes. If the racing was close, he said, we wouldn't care that the machines themselves weren't testing the riders as much as they could.

So, the statistics you read concerning the races might tell one story. Even watching the races might leave you thinking they were "pretty exciting." But, if technological boundaries aren't being challenged, what's the point of racing? To put on a show for some folk who are asked to suspend disbelief and agree that AMA racing is the pinnacle of American motorcycle racing prowess?

All the negatives on here about a new sponsor showing interest in MotoGP? Crawl out of your caves and as the old adage goes "don't look a gift horse in the mouth"! Jordan has been a racing team owner for a number of years now and garish style aside he has been great for the sport. I honestly hope this works into more than just a one off!

I totally agree will Elbig...

Michael Jordan is a class act... I've long thought that that if he could hook up with a Ken Roberts Sr., or a Freddie Spencer, that the U.S. could again field a top team in Motogp. Add a rider like Ben Spies, with some of the talent from the U.S. Red Bull riders coming on down the line & the potential would certainly be great!

Would do nothing for the debacle that U.S. domestic racing has become though!

That a whole different line of thought, I would actually love to see a forum thread on!
(The Solution, not the problem). I've got lots to say on that one!...