Monday, October 18, 2010

Ben Spies Named 2010 MotoGP Rookie of The Year

The Monster Energy Tech III Yamaha YZR-M1 of Ben Spies sits on display in the Yamaha tent at the Red Bull Indianapolis MotoGP round at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on August 28, 2010. The '06-'08 AMA Superbike Champion and '09 World Superbike Champion added another mark to the 'can-do' list yesterday with a fine run home in 5th place in round 16 action at Philip Island in Australia, which gave him enough points to earn the 2010 MotoGP Rookie of The Year Award.
With two rounds remaining in the series, Spies has had a phenomenal year in his 'rookie' season in the bigs of MotoGP. With two podiums (2nd at Indy, 3rd in Great Britain), a pole in Indy and only two DNF's on the year, Elbowz is currently 6th in the 2010 MotoGP World Championship standings with 163 points. As announced at the Indy round at the end of August, he will be moving up to the Yamaha Factory M1 squad alongside 2010 MotoGP World Champion Jorge Lorenzo for the 2011 season.
The headline to this story could almost be viewed as a redundant statement the way that Ben Spies has landed in the MotoGP World Championship Series in 2010, but without really being so the '09 World Superbike Champion did have to earn the title this year in what is and has been his 'rookie' series in the highest level of motorcycle road racing in the world. Coming into the 2010 season, Elbowz had the advantage of being on the top satellite Yamaha team in the series with the Monster Energy Tech 3 team, but he had also only been on about a third of the 18 tracks that the series runs on. That and getting used to a prototype machine compared to having run production-based Superbikes for the better part of his career.

But not too many people had any doubts as to what Mr. Spies could and would do, even racing amongst the top echelon of riders in the world. But Number Eleven does have what it takes to race with the best and even before the mid-point of the season, let alone the series stop in Indy where he wowed the crowd and the series' combatants with a pole position in only his 12th official ride in active competition in MotoGP (Ben rode one race at the end of '09 with Sterilgarda livery under the Tech 3 tent, and Indy was this year's 11th round.)

After winning the '06-'08 AMA Superbike Championship and the '07 AMA Superstock Championship, Spies headed to Europe to contend the 2009 World Superbike Championship, where in his 'rookie' year, he won the championship while riding for the Sterilgarda Yamaha team. Along the way he won 7 consecutive poles and 11 overall in the 14 round series, took the top spot on the podium in 14 of 28 races, and added two second-place finishes and one third-place finish to his results for the year. It was also the first American to win a World Superbike Championship since Colin Edwards in 2002, and he gave Yamaha their very first title in the series in the 22 years that the series had been competing through the 2009 season.

We can look forward to hearing more about Ben this year, as there are still the last two rounds in Portugal the last weekend in October, and then the series closes the 2010 season out the first weekend in November in Valencia. And then on to the Yamaha bigs for the 2011 season as a team mate to newly-crowned 2010 MotoGP World Champion Jorge Lorenzo.

Great job Ben, we're all real proud of you man and great to see you up there in the bigs having a good go of it! Can't wait to see the results for 2011 on the factory M1.

You can read the official releases below on Ben Spies, the 2010 MotoGP World Championship Rookie of The Year.
Ultimate has this on Spies being named 2010 MotoGP Rookie of the Year yesterday after the Philip Island round:

And here is's article about the Ben's newest accomplishment:

And from Elbowz' own website, here is the news from Down Under:

And the photos from yesterday's action in Australia from Ben's site as well:

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