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BMW Confirms Negotiations With Ben Spies for WSB Return

It has been three years since Ben Spies took the WSB championship as a rookie, shocking the European race community with his skill aboard an all-new Yamaha R1. The top BMW WSB team next year will be run by Serafino Foti, who has confirmed in an interview given a few days ago at Silverstone that he is 70 to 80 percent sure Ben Spies will ride a BMW in the WSB championship next year as a teammate of Marco Melandri.

Spies, of course, announced a couple of weeks ago that he would be leaving the Yamaha MotoGP squad after this season.

It is generally considered that WSB is a friendlier, less political atmosphere for riders, and this could have played into Spies decision. BMW is not in MotoGP, of course, and it is therefore likely that Spies could command a hefty salary from the team sponsored by the German automobile/motorcycle manufacturer. It is no secret that BMW wants to win the WSB championship next year (whether it wins it this year or not) by partnering a very strong rider with Marco Melandri.


  1. Alstar250 says:

    Maybe he’ll (Spies) will convince them to make a cross-plane engine:

    Why? The S1000RR is already to most powerful Supersport available to the public, routinely putting out 40hp more than the cross-plane Yamaha –

  2. Bob U says:

    Funny how many people say Moto GP is boring. Add me to the list. Go back to strokers!

  3. motonut_1 says:

    You all seem to be forgetting about Josh Hayes. We should root for him to be added to the WSB roster of American riders

    • goose says:

      Seconded. Getting Hayes into WSB would do two good things.

      First, it would be great to see if Hayes is good enough for the world scene.

      Second, it would make AMA superbike much more enjoyable.

      This year Hayes and that Yamaha have just been too good for the rest of the US superbike riders.


    • Hefner says:


      So Hayes is beating up on a bunch of has-beens and never-weres, with (arguably) the best bike on the grid. I’m not impressed.

      No doubt he’s the best we have at the moment, and he deserves the wins he’s getting because regardless of the spec of his bike (Yoshi are all that can come close) he’s better than everyone else out there.

      But, I think he’d have his a$$ handed to him in WSBK… And I’m tired of rooting for my guy to crack the top-ten, or getting excited about a 4th place finish. I mean, do you seriously think he’ll be able to handle Melandri?

      • Norm G. says:

        re: “I mean, do you seriously think he’ll be able to handle Melandri?”

        i’ve seen ’em ride up close. he’ll be fine.

  4. Vrooom says:

    I’m a bit sad to see it, but let’s face it, MotoGP has been predictable because guys like Spies haven’t been good enough to put pressure on the aliens. I’m sure it will make for some entertaining racing, there’s some really strong up and comers in WSB in Sykes, Baz, and Laverty, Haslam, Rea and Melandri will be at the top soon as Biaggi and Checa age.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “guys like Spies haven’t been good enough to put pressure on the aliens.”

      correct, he’s only been able to “pressurize” things like his rear bridgestone causing it to chunk, and his rear suspension mount causing it to crack.

    • Alstar250 says:

      As Biaggo age..

      I remember watching Biaggi repeatedly come up short to The Doctor in MotoGP 10yrs ago. He’s already aged hahaa

  5. ED says:

    Yes.. I was hopeing that Ben would come back to WSB. I used to love moto-gp, but I am finding the races to be very boring this year, but the WSB races have been great! I just wish that Colin and Nicky would follow along because now WSB is the best series going..

  6. Provalogna says:

    For whatever reason, I always rooted against Spies. That said, if he represents Bee Em Vay on a racetrack, elect me head of his fan club. Kick butt at Miller Raceway (Tooele, Utah) in 2013, Ben!

  7. mark says:

    Great news! I would love to see a USA invasion of WSB! I think we could compete and even dominate. Spies, Hayden, Edwards, and a few AMA boys would make my day.
    I used to love MotoGP, but I find it incredibly boring these days. WSBK is a great though!

  8. Daven says:

    Yes! Spies returns to WSB. This is exactly what I was hoping would happen. Now if he could only convince Colin Edwards to come with him…

    • Agent55 says:

      No doubt, it’d be great if Edwards went back to SBK. Seems like he really wants to stay in GP’s though, competitive bike or not

  9. kirk66 says:

    Spies would be making the right move. Sadly, GP is becoming a boring spectator sport. Politics aren’t helping, either. It would actually be refreshing to see Spies run in WSB and have Colin and Nick follow him in 2014. That would make for some entertaining WSBK races.

  10. Norm G. says:

    re: “It is generally considered that WSB is a friendlier, less political atmosphere for riders, and this could have played into Spies decision.”

    it is… except for the team he’s looking to sign on to. 🙁

    • Dave says:

      Wasn’t his Yamaha team mostly Italian? He’s not going in blindly. Atmosphere is clearly one of the priorities that he’s considering with his move. The BMW has been up front lately. Assuming his problems at Yamaha have been team/equipment related he should be able to hit the ground running. Maybe he’ll convince them to make a cross-plane engine?

      • Norm G. says:

        re: “Wasn’t his Yamaha team mostly Italian?”

        but his teammate wasn’t, his teammate’s g/f, nor the team director, and neither was the MAIN SPONSOR. in contrast, where’s he’s looking to go, they ALL will be. out of the pan and into the fire.

      • Norm G. says:

        re: “The BMW has been up front lately.”

        correction, MARCO (backed by the italian crew he brought with him from yamaha) has been upfront lately.

        • Dave says:

          Silverstone #1, the “Other” BMW team went 2nd and 3rd. Weird race but they were up there.

          Norm, Spies was on Yamaha Italia, main sponsor was Sterilgarda, also Italian.

          • Norm G. says:

            re: “Norm, Spies was on Yamaha Italia, main sponsor was Sterilgarda, also Italian.”

            yeah, no kiddin’. partnered with grinner. someone who was most certainly NOT italian and was most certainly NOT challenging. let you in on a lil’ secret, the “all chiefs, no indians” fighting model doesn’t work in racing any more than it works in the military. bmw just got their first education at donington. in many ways, they’re fortunate to have learned this lesson (or at least be reminded of it) so early. it’s going to pay dividends in their decision making. in fact, we’ve already witnessed some of it with the promotion of the italia team. quick studies the krauts.

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