Ben Spies can win before end of 2010
Ben Spies can win at least one of the remaining six MotoGP races remaining in his impressive rookie campaign.
That’s the bold prediction of American legend Kevin Schwantz, who has worked closely with the Texan since he started on the road to stardom in the AMA superbike series.
Spies has exceeded expectations in 2010 with a series of dazzling performances on the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1 machine.
He claimed a career best second in Indianapolis last month and also scorched to his maiden pole position.
And 1993 world champion Schwantz believes the 26-year-old can become the first non-factory team rider to win a MotoGP race in the 800cc era.
He told MCN: “I think the confidence he gets every week and racing with them a little bit longer into the race is something that he keeps building off. It’s just a progression that for a long time we haven’t seen anybody come into the class and make.
"It has been those four or five guys at the front for a time but he seems to be a regular fixture in that group now. I think he’ll win before the end of the season. He’s one of three guys to beat Lorenzo this year.
"(Dani) Pedrosa has done it for a win and (Valentino) Rossi has beaten him once. Besides those two the only other guy to finish in front of Lorenzo is Ben and that’s quite an achievement.”
Spies will replace Rossi in Yamaha’s factory squad next season after the Italian’s move to Ducati.
British rider Cal Crutchlow recently confirmed he will quit World Superbike to take Spies’ place inside the French-based Tech 3 outfit.