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I want to believe in Ben Spies

3 Mins read

Ben Spies has beaten Noriyuki Haga and secured the World Super Bike (WSBK ) Championship in Portimao. It's surprising to see Haga fizzle out at the end of this season after holding off Spies down to the wire. That's racing in the big leagues, with all those little surprises that come with it. In today's racing in Portimao, Haga  fell off his Ducati 1098R in Race 1, creating a situation that required Spies to finish within the top six in race 2 to win the championship. So many commentators had been wishing this outcome it seemed almost inevitable Spies would win the SBK, before transferring his much heralded talents to MotoGP. Since this win represents another victory for Yamaha manufacturers in both WSBK and MotoGP , he'll also be representing Monster Yamaha Tech 3 as Colin Edwards' new team mate at MotoGP's finale in Valencia.

Unlike many ardent Bike fans who forever sing the praises of Texan Ben 'Elbowz' Spies, I try to refrain from assuming that he will be an instant success when he gets to MotoGP. Firstly, I'm not too familiar with what specifically makes him so unique. I like it when I can determine these things myself rather than being told by some obscure expert. It's only right I remain cautiously neutral on the subject; to borrow a word overused by Gordon Brown when the going was good, “prudence”. When you see brilliance in sport, you need no one to tell you what it is. if you don't believe me ignore the haters and watch Floyd Mayweather Jr train on youtube and form your own judgement. If Ben Spies arrival in MotoGP next year sets the championship alight, then great, but I feel not everyone is as convinced as those who really want it to happen.

I've only watched a handful of MotoGP races over the years because I lack patience. I tend to neglect any sport that's overwhelming dominated by one superior competitor. I make only one exception, golf, and Tiger Woods. In Formula one, the 1990s will only be remembered for Michael Schumacher's legendary brilliance. That's 'wunderbaste' for Herr Schumacher, but absolutely boring for everyone else.

Valentino Rossi initially put me off MotoGP. Firstly, he was the MotoGP equivalent of Michael Schumacher winning everything with hardly any real challenge. Secondly, no matter whom I asked, I couldn't really determine why Rossi hated on Max Biaggi when he was in MotoGP. In fact, if I recall correctly, the first interview I watch with Valentino in London, he said he didn't like Biaggi, but didn't explain why. Over time, I've managed to set aside my pig ignorance and prejudice of MotoGP, and long since acknowledged the brilliance of these biker kids; a bit like a conservative father inevitably accepting his gay son's lifestyle.

There is so much talent in MotoGP, I find it incredibly difficult to accept that Valentino Rossi is still on top. But Rossi isn't just talented, he's also extremely lucky. I see the hunger and in some of Rossi's competition, from Lorenzo, Stoner, Hayden, even Edwards, but like I said Rossi is extremely lucky. All these cats are such talented cats, I don't see how in the hell Spies will make an impact beyond what these guys are already trying to do. James Toseland who's had a torrid time of it in MotoGP said as much while lamenting his own woes moving from 1200cc to 800cc racing.

The word is Spies is a unique talent. I've watched only a handful of races in the WSBK preferring to get to know something about the BSB in gradual stages before I delved into the global world of 1200cc racing; but what I've seen so far I like. What I have seen of Ben Spies seems unclear to me, my untrained eye can't catch what makes Spies the equivalent of a Sebastian Vettel, Nico Hulkenburg, or Casey Stoner. 2010 promises to be an interesting season. Sincere congratulation to Ben Spies, there is no doubt he's atleast generated an extra amount of interest in the WSBK, the question remains whether here can transfer both excitement and talent to MotoGP. Then I might become a true believer in the cult of spies, like that Russian Meerkat in the ad says, simpullzz!

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About author
Charles is a regular contributor to TCF, he's based in London and can be found on twitter at @IBMsports
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