Ben Spies Leaving Yamaha At End of 2012 MotoGP Season
MotoGP racer Ben Spies has announced he will not re-sign with Yamaha while hinting at an impending announcement for his plans for the 2013 racing season.
Earlier this week, Spies used Twitter (@BenSpies11) to hint at a change for next season. In an email to SuperbikePlanet, Spies confirmed he has decided not to remain with Yamaha for several unspecified reasons.
Spies did not leave many hints as to his plans for 2013, saying he will wait for the official announcement before commenting. Spies’ options include signing with another MotoGP team, returning to the World Superbike Championship and returning to race AMA in the U.S.
The email, published on SuperbikePlanet, reads:
Yesterday I made a comment on Twitter to cause a stir. (Today) I’ll be more in saying that I have chosen to leave Yamaha after this season for a litany of reasons. I will explain more when I feel it is appropriate. I’m discussing my situation with my sponsors and they are behind me. There are a few people at Yamaha who I hate to leave. And they know who they are. I wish Yamaha the best. I won’t make any further comments until the offical announcement comes out.
The email follows several tweets posted on July 22:
Big things are happening from the horses mouth! not the Internet sites haha. Gonna be fun that’s for sure ill keep ya updated!
U can say next year will be a bit diff I’d say. excited at all prospects stay tuned
I thought I’d be dramatic like all the sites and reporters are haha maybe nothing changes except to be back were we are meant to be!
Spies has since tweeted a link to SuperbikePlanet’s post and tweeted another statement saying:
I’m extremely happy to push for the rest of the season to my fans and myself next year starts a new chapter. And yes I’m pumped!
After a successful tenure with Suzuki in AMA Pro Racing, Spies signed with Yamaha to race in the 2009 WSBK Championship, taking the title as a rookie. The following season, Spies moved to MotoGP and raced for the Tech3 Yamaha satellite team, winning rookie of the year honors. In 2011, Spies joined Yamaha’s factory team, taking the unenviable task of replacing the departed Valentino Rossi. This year, Spies has struggled, currently sitting 10th in the standings and often finishing in the back of the pack of prototype riders and ahead of only the non-CRT riders.
Yamaha now has an open spot on its factory team beside current series leader Jorge Lorenzo. Tech3 riders Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Dovizioso are the likely frontrunners for the factory ride, but there is no doubt some support for a reunion with Rossi.