Ben Spies fully intends to be back racing a factory-backed Ducati Desmosedici in 2014 after laughing off rumours that he will retire or quit and return to World Superbikes.
The Texan will end 10 months of injury hell in Indianapolis next week when he makes his latest attempt to return from a severe right shoulder injury he first suffered last October in Sepang.
Spies has not raced since the second round in Austin but he came to Laguna Seca recently to confirm that his troublesome right shoulder is now back close to 100% and he will be back for the second half of the 2013 campaign.
It has been a miserable six months for Spies while he has undergone a gruelling recovery to bounce from the longest injury lay-off in his 20-year racing career.
But he has dismissed speculation that he will retire or leave MotoGP at the end of the current season despite being under contract to Ducati for 2014.
The 2009 World Superbike champion said: “When you are injured that badly you are in so much discomfort you are not thinking about riding so much. But the more I have felt better physically is when I’ve found it mentally harder not to be at the track because you want to be there.
I want to be back and I’ve heard all these crazy rumours that I was retiring, going to World Superbikes and even that I got married! It has been great. It is not like I wanted to be miserable for six months but that’s what happened and now we are close to being back and that’s the most important thing. I have been working my butt off to get back to where I need to be and it has taken a lot longer than anybody wanted.”
Spies said he is confident the shoulder will be at 100% when he returns in Indy and he added: “Indy will be the first weekend where I won’t be thinking how my shoulder is going to be. I am 100% confident now with the injury. This break I took to get me back to 100% was the smartest thing to do and I feel ready to be back on the bike and ready to try and get back up to speed. I’ve missed a lot but I was never 100% and it was a crap way to ride. Now I can come back and not worry about me.”