Indy announcement for Ben Spies’ factory Yamaha switch

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Ben Spies’ move to replace Valentino Rossi in Yamaha’s factory MotoGP squad will be made official during the forthcoming Indianapolis MotoGP round.

The Texan has been hugely impressive in his rookie premier class campaign and he will be promoted to Yamaha’s factory squad for 2011 following Valentino Rossi’s departure to Ducati.

Spies will partner Jorge Lorenzo, though the Spaniard is still stalling on extending his own deal in a wrangle with management over wages for next season.

Spies will replace Italian star Rossi after just one full season in MotoGP. But it has been a season so far in which the 26-year-old has fully justified his big reputation after he romped to a record-breaking World Superbike crown in 2009.

Spies claimed his first MotoGP podium at Silverstone in June and he claimed another personal milestone last weekend in Brno by claiming his first ever front row start.

Spies told MCN: “It’s another worst kept secret but here has been no official announcement.

"We are working on stuff right now and there will be something that comes out soon for me for the next couple of years and I can say I'm happy right now.

"Everything is going according to plan. It has been a good year so far and I'm looking forward to the next couple of years."

Spies tested a 2011 factory YZR-M1 prototype machine in Brno earlier this week in readiness for his switch to the factory squad immediately after the final race in Valencia.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt