PHOENIX, Ariz.—In June 2011, just weeks before his 27th birthday, Ben Spies scored his first-ever MotoGP victory at the Dutch TT, riding for the Yamaha factory team. The win marked another milestone in a meteoric racing career—one that began nearly two decades earlier.
Now a new book from David Bull Publishing—whose previous motorcycling titles include a biography of the Hayden brothers and the best-selling Sport Riding Techniques—tells the remarkable story of Ben’s life and career.
In Ben Spies: Taking It To The Next Level, author Larry Lawrence reveals how Ben’s talent, determination, and strong family ties drove his ascent to the highest levels of motorcycle racing. As a longtime motorcycling journalist and photographer, Lawrence had closely followed Ben’s rise through the AMA ranks following his professional debut at age 16. But he also spent months interviewing those closest to the young rider, including his mother, Mary Spies, and his sister, Lisa.
As the book reveals, Spies was a racing prodigy who started winning when he was in second grade. His talent was nurtured by his mother, a single parent who encouraged her children to pursue their dreams. Her support gave Ben the mental toughness to overcome a series of challenges on and away from the track, from the divorce of his parents to the racing death of his closest friend. Ben also suffered a shocking 180-mph crash at Daytona that not only tested his personal courage, but also his family’s resolve.
Ben persevered and ultimately triumphed, winning the first of three straight AMA Superbike Championships in 2006. Three years later, riding for Yamaha, he became the most successful World Superbike rookie of all time, winning a record number of poles—and the championship—on tracks he’d never seen before. In 2010 Ben was promoted to MotoGP with Yamaha’s satellite team, Tech 3, before taking the final step up to the factory squad for the 2011 season.
Along with Lawrence’s insightful text, the book includes hundreds of photographs of Ben in action at the track, and behind the scenes with teammates, friends, and family. It also features a foreword by 1993 Grand Prix Motorcycle Champion Kevin Schwantz.
We’ll be officially launching the book this weekend at the Indianapolis Grand Prix, where Ben will sign copies for fans at the main Yamaha tent. The first signing session will run from 4:10 to 4:40 PM on Friday, August 26, with the second scheduled for the same time on Saturday, August 27.
We’ll also be posting updates and information on our Facebook page, so stay tuned. If you can’t join us there, you can still order a copy now by calling 602-852-9500, or visiting our Web site at www.bullpublishing.com, where you can also learn more about all of our motorcycle and automotive titles.
Ben Spies: Taking It To The Next Level is available through bookstores, specialty motoring booksellers, and directly from the publisher. Orders can be made by calling 602-852-9500 or by visiting the Bull Publishing Web site at www.bullpublishing.com.
Title: Ben Spies
Subtitle: Taking It To The Next Level
Author: Larry Lawrence; Foreword by Kevin Schwantz
Format: Softcover, 9” x 11”, 160 pages, 186 black-and-white and color photographs
Retail price: $29.95
About the Author
Larry Lawrence has been involved in motorcycle racing most of his life, briefly as a competitor and then as a journalist and photographer. Lawrence covered his first race for Cycle News when he was 22 years old and since that time he’s written features in dozens of enthusiast publications and newspapers across the world. In addition to writing about modern-day racing, Lawrence is one of the leading motorcycle racing historians in America. For ten years, starting in 1998, he was the biographer for the Motorcycle Hall of Fame and in that capacity wrote hundreds of bios on the seminal figures in American motorcycling history. He was also a chair for the Hall of Fame Election Committee. Lawrence co-authored AMA Pro Racing media guides during the mid-1990s, and was a contributing editor to the books Heroes of Harley-Davidson and Motocross America. Today Lawrence writes a weekly column in Cycle News called Archives, is a regular contributor to Cycle World, and runs the motorcycle-racing website www.riderfiles.com.
About the Publisher
David Bull Publishing is dedicated to producing the best books on motorsports. Founded in 1995, the company continually wins awards for its work. Author Pete Lyons won both the Motor Press Guild’s Best Book of 2010 and the Dean Batchelor Award for Can-Am Cars in Detail. Other 2010 honors included a Gold Medal in the Independent Publishers IPPY Awards for The Porsche Book, by Jürgen Barth and Gustav Büsing, while Michael Argetsinger’s Mark Donohue: Technical Excellence at Speed received a Gold Medal for biography and was named Best of Books at the International Automotive Media Awards. Please visit www.bullpublishing.com for more information.
Ben Spies: Taking It To The Next Level is available through bookstores, specialty motoring booksellers, and directly from the publisher. Orders can be made by calling 602-852-9500 or by visiting the Web site at www.bullpublishing.com.
For orders in the United Kingdom please contact Chris Lloyd Sales & Marketing Services, which distributes David Bull Publishing books, at (0) 1202 649930.