Jerry Burgess predicts top five for Ben Spies in 2010

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Valentino Rossi’s legendary crew chief Jerry Burgess believes Ben Spies has a great chance of finishing his first full MotoGP campaign in the top five.

The Texan made an immediate impact in 2010 when he produced one of the best performances of the Qatar night race last weekend.

The reigning World Superbike fought his way though from a lowly 11th on the grid to finish fifth in a captivating opening round.

Spies logged the fourth fastest lap time in the 22-lap race and his impressive display followed up a series of eye-catching performances on the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1 during pre-season testing.

And Aussie Burgess, who saw Rossi claim his 104th Grand Prix success in Doha, has predicted Spies can break into the top five this year.

Burgess told MCN: “We know Ben can race. Clearly you saw a guy come to Europe last year on tracks he’d never seen before and with a deficit of 80 points he never gave up.

“He didn’t know whether he could win the title but he raced as hard as he could. He’s ticked all the boxes so far and this year he will have some good and bad days.

“But in 2011 he’ll have a better share of the good days but I think he’ll be too five, at least top six this season.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt