Factory Yamaha rider Ben Spies has extended his contract till the end of the year 2012.  His original contract was to expire this year.  Yamaha have been keen to utilize the services of Spies in the development of the 2012 MotoGP challenger which will be of 1000cc capacity.  Jorge Lorenzo who is also contracted to Yamaha till the end of 2012 has no experience with 1000cc machine racing since he emerged from the 125cc and 250cc classes, both of which were 2 stroke as well.  Spies on the other hand has come from Superbikes having ridden both in the AMA series and in World Superbike series where he became World Champion convincingly in his rookie season itself.  Superbikes run 1000cc engines though they are heavier than GP machines.  But the working knowledge of how 1000cc engines behave is very important from the point of view of a racer.  The engine power out put and lap time differences between GP racing and Superbike racing have been closing dramatically and that makes Spies valuable for Yamaha for 2012.