1000cc switch to help Ben Spies

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Yamaha expects the introduction of the new 1000cc MotoGP class to help American rider Ben Spies mount a challenge for more victories in 2012.

The Texan’s factory Yamaha team boss Massimo Meregalli believes the style required to ride the new generation 1000s will favour Spies, who won the World Superbike title for the Japanese factory back in 2009.

Although Spies collected his maiden MotoGP victory in Assen last season, his first season with Yamaha’s official factory squad often disappointed and he only scored three other podiums in Catalunya, Indianapolis and Valencia.

In a recent MCN exclusive interview with Yamaha boss Lin Jarvis, he said that Spies would need to improve his results in 2012 in his second season as team-mate to Spaniard Jorge Lorenzo.

Jarvis said: “Except for his race win, Ben's cumulative race results were disappointing and I'm sure he would be disappointed and I'm not satisfied. We expect more than one race win (in 2012) from Ben without doubt.

"It's a competitive world, we are here to win, so we want to have the two very strong riders going into 2013."

But Meregalli is confident Spies can rise to the challenge and he told MCN: “I think this move will be a bigger help for Ben. His style is suited more to the bigger capacity bikes and he already proved in Brno the first time he jumped on that bike, even though he was injured, he could do a great job.

"Also in Misano he was very fast and I think his performance on the 1000cc bike will be better than the current 800. The bikes will suit his riding style much more. Usually he likes to brake really deep and open the throttle as early as possible and as aggressive as possible.

"I think with the 1000cc you should have less corner speed, so in this way he should have less of a disadvantage compared to Jorge’s style, which is all about fast corner speed and perfectly suited for the 800s. The 800s favoured the guys from 250s more and this was one of Lorenzo’s strong points.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt