In June 2011, just weeks before his 27th birthday, Ben Spies scored his first-ever MotoGP victory at the Dutch TT, riding for the Yamaha factory team. The win marked another milestone in a meteoric racing career, one that began nearly two decades earlier.
Now a new book from David Bull Publishing, whose previous motorcycling titles include a biography of the Hayden brothers and the best-selling Sport Riding Techniques, tells the remarkable story of Ben s life and career.
In Ben Spies: Taking It To The Next Level, author Larry Lawrence reveals how Ben's talent, determination, and strong family ties drove his ascent to the highest levels of motorcycle racing. As a longtime motorcycling journalist and photographer, Lawrence had closely followed Ben's rise through the AMA ranks following his professional debut at age 16. But he also spent months interviewing those closest to the young rider, including his mother, Mary Spies, and his sister, Lisa.
As the book reveals, Spies was a racing prodigy who started winning when he was in second grade. His talent was nurtured by his mother, a single parent who encouraged her children to pursue their dreams. Her support gave Ben the mental toughness to overcome a series of challenges on and away from the track, from the divorce of his parents to the racing death of his closest friend. Ben also suffered a shocking 180-mph crash at Daytona that not only tested his personal courage, but also his family s resolve.
Ben persevered and ultimately triumphed, winning the first of three straight AMA Superbike Championships in 2006. Three years later, riding for Yamaha, he became the most successful World Superbike rookie of all time, winning a record number of poles and the championship on tracks he d never seen before. In 2010 Ben was promoted to MotoGP with Yamaha s satellite team, Tech 3, before taking the final step up to the factory squad for the 2011 season.
Along with Lawrence s insightful text, the book includes hundreds of photographs of Ben in action at the track, and behind the scenes with teammates, friends, and family. It also features a foreword by 1993 Grand Prix Motorcycle Champion Kevin Schwantz.