Suzuki deny Ben Spies swoop

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Suzuki has denied launching an audacious swoop for WSB sensation Ben Spies - just six months after releasing the American.

Factory boss Paul Denning said he hadn’t launched a bid to snare Spies, despite Suzuki releasing him to sign for Yamaha’s World Superbike at the end of 2008.

Spies’ stunning performances in World Superbikes have made him one of the hottest properties on the planet, but Denning said it was too early to contemplate signing the Texan to ride a factory GSV-R next season.

“I’ve heard this rumour about Ben, but frankly it really is too early. We have not moved forward at all on riders for next year.

"It’s true that our two riders have got fixed single year agreements, so it is a very clear-cut position as we approach the middle of the season, but it is too early,“ said Denning.

It might be too early to contemplate an approach for Spies, who has been strongly linked with James Toseland’s Tech 3 Yamaha MotoGP squad for next season, but Suzuki is clearly preparing for the prospects of searching for two riders.

Loris Capirossi is believed to be ready to retire, while Aussie Chris Vermeulen’s future is also in doubt.

MCN understands Denning also met with current 250GP world championship leader Alvaro Bautista’s management in Jerez last weekend.

And Suzuki is also being linked with reigning 250GP world champion Marco Simoncelli.

Negotations should certainly proceed easily, with Simoncelli’s manager Carlo Pernat also Capirossi’s paddock representative.

On the Simoncelli approach, Denning said: “There has been no serious discussion. Clearly there are three or four very interesting rookie riders out there, but Chris and Loris are very much an option.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt