Colin Edwards has told MCN that he expects a strong challenge from new Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team-mate Ben Spies in next year’s MotoGP world championship.
Spies will join fellow Texan Edwards in Herve Poncharal’s Tech 3 squad in 2010 after wrapping up a record-breaking rookie World Superbike crown in ’09.
Spies made his Yamaha MotoGP debut in Valencia last month and immediately impressed with a seventh place that helped Edwards secure fifth spot in the final points standings.
And double World Superbike champion Edwards said it was imperative that Spies made a positive start to his YZR-M1 career to help boost his confidence going into the winter testing ban.
Edwards told MCN: “He’s done really good and he’s learning quick. I don’t think it was a big surprise to see him where he was in Valencia.
"I think everybody was a little bit worried when he said he was going to wild card in Valencia because if he didn’t perform then he’d have three months of thinking ‘oh shit, I’ve got to go and ride that thing again.’
"But he’ll be looking forward to getting back on the bike and he’ll be strong next year.”