Spies’ record-breaking rookie season in World Superbikes, in which he ended with a 50 per cent winning record, meant he was the hottest property in world racing in 2009.
His outstanding performances also played a major part in Toseland’s premier class demise, with Spies ending intense speculation about his future by opting to join the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 squad in 2010.
So when he landed a wild card on a YZR-M1 at the last round in Valencia, all eyes were on the 25-year-old. He didn’t disappoint. He surged through from 12th to seventh in the race, inflicting a humble defeat on Toseland and helping new team-mate Edwards claim fifth in the final points standings.
He proved he is a quick learner and easily adaptable to the intricacies of riding an 800cc MotoGP bike. That was blatantly obvious when he produced an eye-catching display after the Valencia race. He’s got promise aplenty and how he performs will be one of the most intriguing aspects of 2010.