Kevin Schwantz: Suzuki wrong not to sign Ben Spies

Published: 08 December 2009

Kevin Schwantz reckons Suzuki made an appalling error of judgement in not signing Ben Spies for its factory MotoGP squad in 2009.

The Texan legend says Suzuki management must regret letting Spies move to Yamaha after he followed up a stunning World Superbike campaign with an impressive seventh place on his Yamaha MotoGP debut in Valencia last month.

Spies impressed in three wild card appearances on board a factory GSV-R in 2008, but despite spending his entire career with Suzuki in America, he wasn’t offered a ride in its MotoGP or World Superbike squad.

Instead he moved to Yamaha and won the Japanese factory its first WSB crown in his rookie year.

His scintillating performances earned him a ride in the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 squad for 2010 at the expense of British rider James Toseland.

And Schwantz told MCN: “I’m sure Paul Denning is standing there scratching his head and trying to come up with a list of excuses.

"Ben was with Suzuki since he was 16 and there was nothing really done to try and accommodate him.

"I think everybody is going to see that his World Superbike title wasn’t a fluke.”