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Ben Spies Announces Retirement from Racing

Saturday, October 26, 2013
American Ben Spies has announced his retirement from racing. The 29-year-old Texan leaves racing after multiple shoulder injuries during the 2012 and 2013 seasons. A three-time AMA Superbike champion and 2009 World Superbike champ, Spies campaigned three GP seasons with Yamaha, the latter two with the factory squad. Spies signed a two-year deal with Ducati for the 2013 and 2014 seasons, but aforementioned injuries limited his effectiveness and he competed in only two races for the Pramac Ducati squad. His last action on track was a season-ending practice session crash at Indianapolis. - MotoUSA Ed

Ducati Motor Holding and Ben Spies announced today that the American will not be racing in 2014 after the parties reached agreement to resolve Ben’s current contract with the Italian racing manufacturer. The 29-year-old Texan had signed a two-year agreement with Ducati at the end of last season to race in MotoGP in 2013 and 2014 as part of the factory-supported Ignite Pramac Racing Team.

Ben has been sidelined for most of this season due to an injury to his right shoulder sustained in October 2012 while riding for another manufacturer team. While he began 2013 racing with Pramac, it quickly became clear that he was not fully healed from his injury and needed to undergo further rehabilitation on his shoulder. Unfortunately, on his return to racing at Indianapolis in August, Ben had another setback when he suffered a season-ending crash during practice.

The resulting operations on both shoulders have left Spies feeling that his physical ability to ride next year remains in question and a decision was jointly made by Ducati and Ben to release Ben from any requirement to race in 2014.

The 2009 World Superbike Champion, three-time AMA Superbike Champion and MotoGP race winner announced his retirement from the sport in the following way: “I had such high hopes for racing for Ducati, and Ducati has been incredibly supportive of me during this challenging year, so I am tremendously disappointed that I have not been able to fulfill my personal goals and team goals with Ducati. I want to thank everyone from racing organizations, factories, teams and all my fans for helping me and supporting me throughout my career. I never dreamed that I would reach the level of success that I have over the past 20 years of racing, but the time has come to stop and I do so with great sadness.”

Spies’ manager/mother Mary Spies added: “Wherever Ben has raced over the years—from AMA Superbike to World Superbike to MotoGP—he has always felt the warmth and appreciation of the organizers, circuits, teams and fans. We are so grateful to them for their support.”

Ducati MotoGP Project Director Paolo Ciabatti declared: "We had high expectations when Ben joined Ducati in MotoGP this year, and we really hoped that he would fully recover from his Indianapolis crash injuries and continue to race for us in the future. However we understand the reasons for his decision and respect them. It is really a shame for our sport that Ben will not be racing anymore, because in our opinion he is one of the most talented riders in the world. We will miss him and wish him all the best for his future life."

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Comments
honestylance   October 31, 2013 07:21 AM
I enjoyed watching ben go from AMA to WSBK and then to MOTO GP. He was and amazing racer. I had very high hopes for him in GP. Its such A shame his career has been cut short. First stoner and now this. Good Luck Ben
jkircher   October 29, 2013 04:56 PM
I was fortunate enough to see Ben race in at least one race each of his last three years in AMA Superbike and always considered him intelligent, humble and a fierce competitor. He always took time to talk with fans in the paddock and represented the sport very well. It's a shame his career has been cut short. Hopefully he will end up doing race commentary or stay close to the sport in some manner. Good luck Ben!
steveofthenw   October 29, 2013 11:39 AM
Damn...First no more Laguna Seca & now this. Just hope he doesn't decide to go NASCAR. Damn...
ChicagoCyclist   October 28, 2013 08:14 PM
Well... Mladin's comment on Ben's retirement shows a lack of good judgment and sportsmanship. I guess, all one can say about that. At least Ben, didn't stay in his comfort zone and cherry pick his racing career. It took Ben, kicking his ass three times over before moving on. Again, good luck and good fortune to you Spies.
zenjim   October 28, 2013 07:13 PM
I've had injuries to both shoulders that have sidelined me in my sport (martial arts). Shoulders are tricky, complex things. Years later they still bother me swimming, etc. I can't imagine riding a MotoGP bike at 200 mph. I have great memories of taking my kids to the track to watch epic battles with Spies and Mladin. I think it's worth noting Mladin credited Spies with him stepping his game up. And we all noticed a slimmer and more determined Mladin as a result. So proud of the American kid tearing it up in WSBK on some tracks he'd never been on to become champion. Rookie of the year in MotoGP. Sans injury, I believe he would have gotten his groove on and run with the aliens. A true loss to the sport of motorcycle racing. I wish him well in all he does (but secretly hope he can return). A class act. God speed Elbowz. I will miss you on the grid.
cggunnersmate   October 28, 2013 10:36 AM
Apparently Mladin has been quoted with a two word response to Spies' retirement and they referenced intercourse and female genitalia.

Easy to say when you don't have major shoulder injuries to deal with and if his injuries were as simple as the broken collar bones that Lorenzo and Pedrosa have had to contend with, I'm sure Ben would still be racing but his injuries aren't as simple and easy to recover from.
ChicagoCyclist   October 27, 2013 02:38 PM
Kinda wonder if Mat Maldin had any thoughts on the subject. Good luck Ben,and wish you the best.:-)
leward18   October 26, 2013 09:11 PM
Good luck Ben Spies, one of the best racers ever on two wheels.
AnthonyD   October 26, 2013 03:06 PM
Jimmi must be Ben's mom.
22AaronW   October 26, 2013 02:02 PM
Rock on, Jimmi. Ben is a f@#$ing world class champion.
jimmihaffa   October 26, 2013 12:55 PM
Anthony, I don't know you, but I know enough to consider you an idiot and a loser. Ben has had an incredible career and sacrificed more of his body for his sport than many athletes. He's 29 for cripes sake and has a whole life yet ahead of him. To risk even further damage to life and limb given the extent of his injuries would be both foolish and unwarranted. The only quitter is you, Anthony....here's hoping you quit this site.
AnthonyD   October 26, 2013 11:24 AM
Quitter.