After Valentino Rossi‘s move to Ducati was announced, there was always the question of who was going to fill his empty seat at FIAT Yamaha. Today Lin Jarvis, Managing Director of Yamaha Motor Racing, announced that Monster Yamaha Tech 3‘s Ben Spies will be joining the squad in 2011. Spies has impressed in his first season at the top of Motorcycle racing. After joining the Tech 3 team after winning the World Superbike Championship, Spies has established his place as the Number One rookie.

“We’re delighted that Ben will join the Factory Team for next season”, Jarvis said, speaking for at a press conference at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

“Ben has shown great promise in his first ten MotoGP races. He has learnt rapidly and recorded strong results, including a well-deserved podium finish at Silverstone – impressive for someone in their first full season. We believe that Ben will be a future title contender and that he will be a good fit with our team. His mission next year will be to continue learning, consistently challenge for podium places and try to win some races. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Herve Poncharal and the Tech 3 Team for taking care of Ben this season and for giving him such good training for the years ahead. I hope that he will repay them by getting some more podium results in the second half of this season and helping them to secure top satellite team status at the end of this year.”

Spies is clearly excited by the prospect. “My first year in MotoGP has been a great learning curve and for that I have to thank Herve Poncharal, all the team at Tech 3 and especially my American mechanics who have stuck by me throughout this great journey so far.” said Spies at the press conference.

“Having previously been to only four of the ten tracks to date, I have to be pleased with where I am and with having achieved my first podium so soon. I’m especially pleased that Yamaha have recognized the potential in me and given me the opportunity to step up to the Factory Team so early in my GP career. I believe that by working closely with the Yamaha staff and my mechanics we will be able to help develop the M1 and make the next step of challenging for regular podiums, followed by future championships.”