Former World Superbike champion Ben Spies has signed a contract extension with the Yamaha Factory Racing team to contest MotoGP in 2012.

Spies, who won the World Superbike crown with Yamaha in 2009, is in his second season in MotoGP after stepping up from the satellite Tech 3 Yamaha squad following Valentino Rossi’s move to Ducati.

Spies currently lies seventh in the MotoGP championship standings, 62 points behind team-mate and defending champion Jorge Lorenzo.

The 26-year-old Texan said: “I am very happy to say that I will remain a part of the Yamaha family.

“This is a privileged time of my career riding for the most successful team in recent years at the very highest racing level.

“Yamaha has been great in supporting me through World Superbike and on to MotoGP and I want to thank them for all they have done, and for giving me their trust to continue in MotoGP in 2012.”

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