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This is what 2009 WorldSBK champ Ben Spies is up to these days…

With a host of familiar favourites - including Peter Hickman, Richard Cooper and Lee Johnston - making the trip to Florida in just over a week’s time to participate in the Daytona 200, there will be more than one reason to pay attention to the results of next weekend’s annual two-wheel blast around one of the world’s most iconic venues.

However, if any Americans are feeling a little overshadowed by the high-profile international delegation, fear not because there will be one very well-known name for home fans - and plenty more around the world - to get behind in Ben Spies, who makes an intriguing ‘debut’ of sorts at the blue riband (albeit non-championship) MotoAmerica event.

We’ll quickly say right here that Spies - the 2009 WorldSBK Champion and MotoGP race winner - is not going to be racing, but he will be there in the heart of the action as part of his new role heading up a brand-new Supersport team that will fight for honours in the Daytona 200 before going on to embark on a full-season of MotoAmerica.

Spies, Portuguese WSBK 2009

Moreover, Spies isn’t leading just any old team but that which has been set-up by one of motorsport’s greatest motorsport dynasties, the Rahals.

Competing under the banner Rahal Ducati Moto, the team is co-owned by Graham Rahal, who has found time out of his busy schedule competing in the IndyCar Series to create his own MotoAmerica team. 

It marks the beginnings of a legacy for Graham himself separate from his father, Indy 500 winner and multiple IndyCar Series title-winning team owner Bobby Rahal.

While Rahal gets on with his own motorsport activities, Spies - who swept to the 2009 WorldSBK title in his rookie season with Yamaha - runs the team on the ground and is duly preparing for its big competitive debut in the Daytona 200.

Fielding a trio of Ducati Panigale V2s, Rahal Ducati Moto hasn’t scrimped on the talent either, hiring former BSB front runner and WorldSBK racer PJ Jacobsen alongside 2022 MotoAmerica Stock Champion Corey Alexander.

It will also field a bike for exciting young female racer Kayla Yaakov, who has blown many away with her speed and tenacity despite still only aged 16-years old. Already a podium winner in the Supersport and Twins Cup class in 2023, she was also third overall in the MotoAmerica Junior Cup in 2022 aged 15...

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