In order to get some valuable seat time before he officially enters the MotoGP World Championship, Ben Spies has been provided a wildcard entry into the season-ending Valencia GP in November by Yamaha. Because testing in MotoGP is being increasingly scaled back to help cut costs, any seat time Spies can get on the YZR-M1 before the official testing begins (a two-day official test is scheduled right after the Valencia event) is a major bonus. The final World Superbike Championship event at Portimao is two weeks before Valencia, so there won’t be any conflict with his title quest in that series.
The Texan will be using M1 test machines brought over from Japan in a separate one-rider team, running in corporate Yamaha colors. Spies has ridden at Valencia on the Suzuki GSV-R MotoGP machine as well as the World Superbike event back in March, so it won’t be a completely new circuit when he begins his MotoGP career. It should be interesting to see how Spies measures up against the competition in November.