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Jorge Lorenzo man to beat, says Ben Spies

Published: 21 February 2011

Jorge Lorenzo will start the 2011 as a big favourite to retain the MotoGP crown, according to new factory Yamaha team-mate Ben Spies.

Lorenzo was unstoppable in 2010 and ended a memorable season with nine wins and a record points haul of 383.

He also finished all 18 races and was only twice off the podium in the Motorland Aragon and Twin Ring Motegi races.

Lorenzo's 2010 form and his impressive performances so far in the winter testing campaign led Texan Spies to say: "I think he's the man to beat for sure. He's the guy that when he puts his helmet on he has one thing on his mind. On the track he's matured and we can all see that. He's got the speed and he's learnt how to harness it. When he needs to turn it up he's able to do that so I predict he's the man to beat. If anyone wants to win the world title they've got to go through him."

Spies said he was looking to learn from the 22-year-old Spaniard, who is a former double world 250GP champion as he prepares for his first season in Yamaha's official factory team.

Spies said: "Jorge is the fastest guy in the world, you can either be intimidated by it or learn from it. I'd like to think there's a lot of things I do like the way I approach my racing and the way I race a motorcycle that I like, but there's things I need to learn that I'd like to learn from Jorge, not just how to go faster on a motorcycle. He's got that pure speed, so again there's no one I'd rather be team mates with than the fastest person."

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