After the stunning news yesterday that John Hopkins will be leaving Suzuki at the end of the 2007 season, today yet more news came out of the Suzuki camp. Motorcycle News is reporting that AMA Superbike champion Ben Spies will be offered a ride on the GSV-R MotoGP bike before the end of the season. Whether this will be a factory test or a wildcard appearance has not yet been settled. The problem for Suzuki is that the wildcard rides are already done deals, with very little room for maneuver. However, Suzuki also know how important providing MotoGP rides to talented riders is, to keep them involved and prevent them from leaving for another manufacturer.
Coming so shortly after news of Hopkins' resignation, it is almost inevitable that this will lead to speculation that Spies could be a candidate to take the ride vacated by Hopper. Any such speculation would be intensely premature, as there is already a longish list of names to take Hopkins' seat at Suzuki. But although it seems unlikely that Spies could move to MotoGP next year, with so little exposure to the series, the possibility of Spies making the move in 2009 must surely have moved a step closer.