Rossi starts Spies mind games?

"I think Spies has the potential, but for sure he needs time to understand the bike"

THE MIND GAMES have started already: Valentino Rossi has warned newly-signed MotoGP rookie Ben Spies might not gel with a MotoGP racer as quickly as some might think.

The eight-time motorcycle world champion has said the characteristics of the modern 800cc racers lend themselves more to a 250cc rider's style; most of Spies' experience has been on big-bore superbikes.

"I think Spies has the potential, but for sure he needs time to understand the bike and the tyres, and to demonstrate that he's a top MotoGP rider," said Rossi.

"For me, the MotoGP riding style is very close to a 250cc riding style now. Riders especially like Jorge, but also like Dani,  Stoner, and maybe Simoncelli next year, arriving from 250cc have a big advantage compared to the riders that arrive from World Superbike.

"The style of riding these bikes, especially with the Bridgestone tyres, is more similar to the 250s, and has a big difference compared to the Superbike."

But even though Rossi thinks Spies may not be an immediate winner on the MotoGP scene, he's glad the American has made the switch from WSB:

"I think it's the right decision to come straight away," he said. "He's quite young, and can have one extra year for experience and trying to understand the MotoGP bike. He will be another great rival for next season."

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