Ben Spies talks MotoGP future

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Reigning American Superbike champion Ben Spies is a man increasingly in demand, on both sides of the Atlantic.

The 23-year-old, leading the US championship this year on a Yoshimura Suzuki, was propelled into the limelight globally when his name was linked to the Rizla Suzuki MotoGP team as a replacement for John Hopkins in 2008. Thought that has faded with the news that the team has all-but signed Loris Capirossi, Spies says he wants still to do as many as four wildcard rides next season in preparation for a 2009 switch.
His hopes for a move any sooner than 2009 also took a dent when a planned satellite Suzuki MotoGP team run by American legend Kevin Schwantz was shelved for at least a year.
Spies said: "I’m signed with American Suzuki for next year and if I did any wildcards next year it would have to be with the Rizla team. 
I definitely do kind of have the GP drive now and I think I can do it. I don’t want to be 35-years-old kicking myself in the teeth because I didn’t go do it. If I get the chance, I got to go.”
Spies could even get a wild card ride in Valencia at the end of this season and he added: “I’d like to do one wild card this year and I’d love to do both American rounds next year and Valencia. I’m kind of itching to get on it. If I don’t get to race the thing next year they want me on it as much as possible. They seem really open and really interested. They want to kind of work me into it.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt