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Spies unsure about works team chance

Ben SpiesBen Spies says he would have misgivings about substituting for Valentino Rossi in the works Yamaha team if he was not going to get a ride with the factory outfit next season.

The Tech 3 Yamaha rider is among the contenders to fill Rossi's seat while he is absent with a broken leg - an injury that is set to keep him out of racing until at least Brno in August.

Neither Rossi nor Jorge Lorenzo have confirmed their 2011 plans yet, with both out of contract and Rossi has previously insisted that Yamaha should stop trying to balance two number one riders. Spies, who is contracted directly to Yamaha, is considered the favourite for any openings that do appear in the factory line-up, but he is unsure whether a temporary move as a substitute would be worthwhile.

"It depends what Valentino decides to do next year," Spies told AUTOSPORT. "It depends if he's going to ride for Yamaha next year. There's a lot of stuff. It's a hard one to answer because it is Valentino. It's kind of a dangerous question, quite frankly.

"For sure I'd like to ride the factory bike, but if he was riding for Yamaha next year, if Lorenzo was staying with Yamaha and I was still on the Tech 3 bike, then you wouldn't want to be jumping in first class and then going back to your coach. So that's the problem you have there."

He said he had no problem with the satellite team having a lower equipment specification than the works squad.

"If I was in the factory team and I knew that the satellite bike was the exact same as my bike, what's the point of riding on the factory bike?" Spies said.

"A factory bike always has something special, and it should. What it has, I don't know. I'm pretty sure in every department it's got something. How much that turns into over a lap time, I don't know - it could be one tenth, it could be eight tenths."

The American also doubted whether he would be fast immediately if he did get a works Yamaha chance.

"I'm not blind to the fact - I don't think I could jump on Lorenzo's bike and be the same speed as him," he said. "I think if I got on his bike or Valentino's bike, my lap time would improve, but I don't think it's going to be within me.

"So you've got to understand that too. You can't think that you're just going to get on someone's bike and be as fast as him. That's not the case. But I believe they've definitely got some horsepower and some other things that are obviously going to make the bike better."

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