Injury-ravaged Texan Ben Spies will not return to MotoGP action for the Ignite Ducati squad in the final five races of 2013.
The left shoulder he dislocated in a practice crash for last month’s Indianapolis clash in America will keep Spies out for the remainder of a nightmare 2013 campaign for the former World Superbike champion.
Spies only raced in the season’s opening two rounds in Qatar and Austin but even then he was nowhere near 100% fit as he struggled to overcome a serious right shoulder injury sustained last October during a rain-lashed Sepang race in Malaysia.
Spies had to abort an attempted return to action in Ducati’s home race at Mugello in early June, as the weak shoulder prevented him riding close to his 100% potential.
He returned fully fit and desperate to put a hellish injury spell behind him in Indianapolis last month, only for more disaster to strike when he dislocated his left shoulder in practice.
Spies had initially hoped to be fit enough to return to partner Andrea Iannone in Ducati’s satellite Pramac squad for the final phase of the season.
But Pramac boss Francesco Guidotti confirmed to MCN in Misano this morning that the former factory Yamaha rider will not be fit to return to action in 2013.
Speaking to MCN at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli this morning, Guidotti said: “It seems that he is not coming for the rest of this season and we are now looking for a replacement. It seems Ben will not be ready.
"We are looking for someone for the rest of the season but not for next year. Our priority is to wait for Ben. When I speak with him or text him it is clear his frustration at the situation and he wants to come back."
Spies has been replaced by Ducati test and development Michele Pirro while sidelined previously this season but his testing duties in Mugello prevent him from continuing as a replacement rider at the next round at the Motorland Aragon track in Spain.
“Michele can’t do Aragon because he has an important test. And there is another important test in the week in between Sepang and Phillip Island, so that is not possible. So we will need somebody for at least four races and maybe Michele can do Valencia, “said Guidotti.
Confirmation that Spies will not race again this season has sent the rumour mill surrounding the 2009 WSB champion into overdrive again in San Marino.
Guidotti denied speculation that Spies will have his contract terminated by Ducati halfway through a two-year deal. And he denied gossip that Pramac would only enter one factory-backed Desmosedici in 2014 if Spies does not feature.
Guidotti added: “We plan to race two bikes and I don’t think Ducati wants to break the contract with Ben. We are looking at a scenario in case he doesn't come back but we have to do that. But we have not contacted any rider and we are waiting for Ben.”