Ducati confirm Ben Spies approach

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Ducati have confirmed they have received a tentative approach from reigning American superbike champion Ben Spies about a 2009 MotoGP ride.

Factory team boss Livio Suppo confirmed to MCN that Spies’ manager Doug Gonda had been in contact to enquire about the possibility of a ride.

Spies is desperate to move to MotoGP next season but is still to find out whether he will do so with Suzuki as talks over the Japanese factory running a third bike appear nowhere nearer to being resolved.

Spies is obviously wanting to keep his options open in case Suzuki doesn’t have a place for him and recent contact was made with Ducati.

With reigning world champion Casey Stoner and Italian Marco Melandri already contracted to Ducati’s factory team in 2009, Spies might have to settle for a ride in the Alice-backed satellite squad.

Spies will certainly figure on a list of candidates for the satellite team, according to Suppo, who told MCN: “I know his manager and sometimes we speak and he told me that Ben was looking for a ride but I told him that we have two riders already for next year. 

“The satellite team riders we make a list that Ducati and the team likes and then the team does the negotiation. So from our side Ben would be on the list because he is an interesting rider.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt