|Spies leaves Yamaha for the Ducati Junior Team in 2013
Photo: Trevor Harlock
Ben Spies has broken the silence on his reasons for his departure from Yamaha’s MotoGP outfit in an article submitted to US magazine Cycleworld.com. Spies, a MotoGP race winner with the Japanese factory announced he had opted to leave Yamaha for 2013 in a shock interview to Superbikeplanet.com in the days leading up to the Laguna Seca round of MotoGP. A bizarre occurrence since traditionally a team would be the first to announce changes to their rider line up. The move would have undoubtedly landed Spies in hot water with Yamaha and incited much speculation into the reasons Ben Spies had left one of the most successful GP teams of the last decade and as to where he would go next. Now, 6 months on the truth has been revealed.
Spies endured the most unlucky of seasons in 2012, suffering a plethora of mechanical failures amongst issues such as food poisoning and a faulty visor steaming up in bad conditions. Something just wasn’t meant to be. Now, Spies has revealed that after the Mugello round of MotoGP (where Spies suffered horrific food poisoning and was sick in his helmet) a “Senior Yamaha employee” had told him that if he wasn’t going to put in 100%, not to turn up to the next round in Laguna Seca. It was after this that Spies claims he made the decision to leave Yamaha for 2013, despite having no other plans for the next season.
Spies is keen to highlight that this was not the only reason for leaving, he spends the vast majority of the article explaining exactly why he felt he couldn’t go fast on the Yamaha – a bike that had been built for the smoother racing style of Valentino Rossi and even smoother style of Jorge Lorenzo. Spies eludes to the strengths of the YZR-M1 being polar opposites to the strengths that would suit his more aggressive riding style.
When Spies left Yamaha in July, he said he did not know what he would do for 2013 as time moved on he suggested he had options in MotoGP, WSBK and was even considering joining Casey Stoner in retirement. In the article for CycleWorld.com Spies reveals that much of the speculation was true, his four options were Ducati in WSBK, BMW in WSBK or Ducati or Gresini Honda in GP. Spies suggests the Ducati offer was simply too good to refuse but doesn’t rule out a return to World Superbikes in the future. Spies also reveals he will be keeping long-time crew chief Tom Houseworth when he rides for Pramac Ducati next season.
The full article, written by Spies himself can be read here: http://www.cycleworld.com/2013/01/02/ben-spies-leaves-yamaha-for-ducati/ – and I would strongly suggest you do so, it makes a very interesting read.