Valentino Rossi predicts ‘difficult’ job for Ben Spies

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Valentino Rossi fears a lack of track knowledge will be the toughest challenge American rookie Ben Spies has to overcome in 2010.

Spies, who has failed to finish the last two races in Jerez and Le Mans, has still to go six tracks that he has never seen before, including the next race at Mugello.

And reigning world champion Rossi, who trails Fiat Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo by nine-points heading to his home race next weekend, told MCN: “I think Ben has a very difficult job this year.

"He has to learn MotoGP and Bridgestone, but very, very much and sometimes we forget, he has to learn the tracks and this has always been a great problem for the superbike riders.

"In the past you see a lot of superbike riders quite fast in the track that they know but a disaster in the tracks they don’t know. I think Ben has to be clever and understand the track and work also for the future in MotoGP.”

The 31-year-old, who has yet to finish off the podium in 2010, also said the extra grip and performance from Bridgestone tyres was a complex challenge to adapt to.

He added: “The biggest difference is electronics and Bridgestone tyres. A superbike is more fat, more rude and it is possible to ride more dirty. But for me the biggest problem is to understand these tyres that are very different to Pirelli.

"If you have Bridgestone on a superbike for me it is not such a big difference.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt