Ben Spies has been confirmed as a wildcard entry for the final round of MotoGP at Valencia. A press release has just been issued stating that Spies is to ride in Valencia for Yamaha. The news had broken earlier, with Motorcycle News' Matt Birt reporting that an entry has already been submitted to Dorna and IRTA for the Texan to ride in the last MotoGP round of the season, and Autosport's Toby Moody correctly predicting that the wildcard entry would be confirmed today by Yamaha.
It was originally expected that Spies would ride in Yamaha's corporate blue colors, in the same vein as HRC's wildcards have done in previous years. But the BBC's Matt Roberts has just posted on social networking site Twitter that former NBA legend and motorcycle racing nut Michael Jordan is to sponsor Spies' one-off ride. Jordan has his own brand of sportswear, and has run a team in the AMA Superbike series to promote the brand previously.
Should this turn out to be true, it raises the question of whether Jordan could pull out of the AMA series and put his sponsorship budget into MotoGP. Having two Americans on the Tech 3 team would be an enormous help for Jordan in the US domestic market (despite the sport's limited popularity in the USA), but Jordan is known to want to be part of the racing, and not just sponsor it. Whether Jordan would be willing to put enough money into the team to be able to play a far more active role has to be doubted, though, but if he did switch allegiance from the AMA series to MotoGP, that would be another huge loss for the ailing AMA Pro Superbike series, which has had huge problems since being taken over by the DMG, despite the vastly improved racing which has taken place.