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Spies Horrible Season Ends With Shoulder Prognosis

The worst professional racing series ever experienced by Ben Spies (Yamaha) has officially ended with two rounds still remaining in the 2012 MotoGP championship. Surgery repairing his recently injured shoulder (at Sepang last weekend) has revealed more soft tissue damage than initially expected. Although he should fully recover, Spies is expected to remain in a sling for “up to 10 to 12 weeks”, according to Yamaha.

Spies had numerous DNFs this year and failed to score a single podium finish.The next time Spies swings a leg over a MotoGP bike, it will be a Ducati that he will campaign in MotoGP next year.


  1. TheRandyGuy says:

    When neither Rossi nor Haydan can make the Ducati work, well, I hope Spies saves his salary. You only get so many first line rides. Undeniable talent, but it takes more than that to be a MotoGP champ.

  2. NJ Bears fan says:

    I agree completely with what Al said above:

    “I like Ben Spies but I think he is out of his depth in MotoGP…”

    There are only so many times everything other than Spies can be blamed for his poor performance. He’s been on top machinery for three years in MotoGP, two of which were on the official factory and he has ONE victory. That’s just terrible. Even riders like Marco Melandri (five wins I think) had many more.

    Anyway, I’m sorry to see he’s injured (been there), but he should go back to WSBK.

  3. RBen says:

    Way to many DNFs this year.. I bet Ben will do a lot better with a Ducati team. I really thank something is going on within the Yamaha team. Things like a cracked swing arm I mean really this is the top of the top moto racing and is so post to be the best bike REALLY and then has a DNFs like a cracked swing arm.Ben is a world class rider Ben is going to Finnish 10th this year in points. I bet he will do better next Year even on a Ducati… I just hope Rossi is not walking into a mess .

  4. Provalogna says:

    Woah! “10-12 weeks” is longer than any injury I’ve had, and I’ve had my share. That sounds quite serious.

  5. ROXX says:

    I wish MotoGP had a rule to weigh both riders and bikes together.

  6. Brian says:

    I feel for Ben. The worst way to end a bad season. So many strange things happened, but to lose out on the post-season test in Valencia is the worst way to end a bad season and start a new one 10 steps behind the competition, especially with the GP13…
    I hope he adapts to it the way Stoner did, but I’m not holding my breath. At least he can’t look any worse there than he did on Yamaha this year, I hope.

    Just praying the racing next year isn’t as boring.

  7. Ricardo says:

    Spies size is too big for Motogp, he is more competitive in WSBK and a better rider. Plus the Yamaha team he had this year was a total disaster, making most of the mistakes and poor job of preparing a good bike for him to shine on….

  8. John says:

    I hoped for a lot more from Spies in his second year. He was on pace last season enough to run up front in a consistent manner; including 1 win. If you cannot have a good year on the bike many consider the best handling bike in MotoGP, then moving to the worst handling bike is not an upward move. Signing for Ducati is not a good move unless someone in the design staff has an epiphany. Hayden only has a 1yr extension with the factory team. Is Spies being primed as his replacement?

    Was never in the Hayden camp, but his resolve has impressed me.

    • Chris says:

      This is (or was) Spies 3rd year in MotoGP. 1 year with the Tech 3 team and 2 years with the factory Yamaha team.

  9. Neil says:

    After major injuries you cannot ride as fast. Broken bones heal but soft tissue damage is another thing. They make the shoulder function but it is recontructed, not naturally healed. My shoulder has been looser since I dislocated it a couple of years ago. You don’t want to fall on it again. I sent a tweet to John Hopkins to retire. Enough is enough. I am also not sure Tom Houseworth was the right man to lead the mechanics on Spies bike. Superbike and MotoGP are different things. The old champions were much more focussed as well. The series they were in was their whole life. I am not expecting much out of the Ducati. Look at Val going back to the Yamaha. That says it all. I would like to see Stoner ride it again.

    • Vrooom says:

      It’s pretty difficult to argue that Ducati’s futures look better next year, but I’ll try. There finishes in the last several races have been better, and Rossi even managed a podium or two. The chassis is supposed to have been improved, but time will tell. Spies isn’t Rossi, so that’s not that strong an argument, and neither is Hayden though he’s beat Rossi several times this year. Dovisiozo is likely the main hope for that factory.

  10. motonut_1 says:

    The last time I remember a rider having a season similar to Spies season, it was Freddie Spencer’s, after he did his double world title season. Everything that could go wrong (faceshield fogging, contacts falling out, etc.) did go wrong. But it was more than that and Spencer never did regain the form that made him so brilliant. Even coming back to AMA racing didn’t make him a winner again.

    I can’t help but wonder if Spies hasn’t suffered the same fate. Next year will only prolong Ben’s career in MotoGP another year. Expectations will certainly be low and poor results will be the norm. It will not give us any insight into whether Ben still has what it takes to race at the highest level.

    • bikerrandy says:

      The year Spencer raced for Yamaha and did so poorly was because he had an ear/balance issue. He also tried to make the Yamaha like a Honda instead of adapting to it.

  11. achesley says:

    I think Ben will be good with Ducati. It will answer all questions about where he belongs in MotoGP for sure. But, I’m still pulling for my Texas Neighbors, Colin and Ben.

  12. Al says:

    I like Ben Spies but I think he is out of his depth in MotoGP. Would like to see him go back to WSBK where I think his undoubted talents would shine

    • Dave says:

      Unless the pay disparity is very large, it’d be a better overall career move too. WSBK has a lot of momentum, MotoGP is receiving nothing but criticism.

      • soi cowboy says:

        Any bets on how long it will take for D o r n a to destroy WSB, either by design or by generally screwing up?
        Spies is yet another victim of the anti- US prejudice in europe ( latest victim- L Armstrong)
        I am cdn btw

  13. John A. Kuzmenko says:

    Too bad.
    Seems a fitting end to his crummy 2012 season.
    I hope he has a better one next year.

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