Ben Spies has confirmed he will attempt to put a nightmare 10-month injury spell behind him when he returns to MotoGP action at the legendary Indianapolis track in mid-August.
Spies has only raced twice for the Ignite Ducati squad in 2013, with the Texan battling to recover from a troublesome right shoulder injury he first suffered last October during a rain-lashed Sepang clash in Malaysia.
The 2009 World Superbike champion raced in Qatar and Austin at the beginning of the season before suffering additional injuries while he was compensating for the severely weakened shoulder.
He opted to miss the Jerez and Le Mans races to try and give himself more time to heal but he had to abort a planned return to action in Mugello because he couldn’t ride close to 100% with the shoulder taking much longer than anticipated to recover.
He then decided to take a long break from racing in order to give himself the best opportunity to make a full recovery and after undertaking a gruelling and intensive rehab, the former factory Yamaha rider is ready for a long-awaited return in Indianapolis on August 18.
Spies made his first paddock appearance since Mugello today when he arrived at the Laguna Seca track in California and in a small media briefing inside the Pramac Ducati garage he said: “For the first time in a lot of months I am really happy because the shoulder is improving a lot.
I made the best decision to do everything properly because I came back too soon and I wasn’t ready and I got another injury in Austin because I wasn’t strong enough to ride. The best decision was to come back in the right way and I wish this race was about two weeks later so I could be here. I saw the doctors two days ago and everything is right on schedule, so I look forward to being back in Indy and being 100%. I’m looking forward to getting stuck into it and being back to where we need to be.
I’ve missed a lot but I was never 100% and riding like I needed to be. I am 100% confident now with my injury. I am not 100% confident about getting back up to speed in one session because I haven’t ridden too much this year and the times I have ridden I haven’t been 100%.
This break I took to get me back to 100% was the smartest thing to do and there has been a million rumours about what I’m doing and I’ve been at home on the computer laughing at that. I feel ready to be back on the bike and ready to try and get back up to speed and that’s the first time in eight months I’ve had that feeling. All the other times on the bike I was wondering what I could do and it was a crap way to ride and not the way to do it. Now I can come back and not worry about me.”