YAMAHA boss Lin Jarvis has said that despite his troubles and the interest from Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Dovizioso, Ben Spies is still favourite for staying in the factory line-up.
Signing Jorge Lorenzo was the first priority for Yamaha, but now the focus for the factory team is on filling the in demand seat on the second YZR-M1.
“Our official position is that the ideal scenario for us would be Ben Spies and Lorenzo, but obviously we need better results from Ben Spies,” Jarvis told Sportrider.com. “He has the ability potentially, but we need riders on the podium or fighting for the podium regularly. His results have not unfortunately been good enough. So we are hoping he can fulfill his potential and therefore be the automatic candidate.”
The Tech 3 pair of Crutchlow and Dovizioso have both set the ambitions on stepping up to a factory-spec M1 next and Jarvis admitted that he is still looking at them.
One looming name is that of Valentino Rossi. The Italian is supposedly lining up a competitive ride in 2013, according to Dorna boss Carmelo Ezpeleta, but has continued to counter rumours that he wants to stay at Ducati.
Jarvis added his thoughts: “If he doesn’t stay at Ducati, perhaps at the moment now we have Lorenzo, maybe Honda is the more logical place, because I think they have a need to compete against us next year, and compete with Lorenzo.
“So I want to see first what HRC will do...whether they will fill the spot as we think they will probably with Dani and Marquez, now that the rookie rule is cancelled."
But he closed saying, “You can’t rule Rossi out of being on a Yamaha in one of the teams. But our priorities are as I say looking at Ben, Andrea and Crutchlow, but anything could finally happen. Until each three spots are filled, anything could happen.”