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US MotoGP: Ben Spies cagey on future plans

Published: 26 July 2012

Updated: 24 November 2014

Ben Spies has refused to discuss his future plans or elaborate on his reasoning for deciding to quit Yamaha at the end of the season on the eve of his home race at Laguna Seca today.

Spies dropped a bombshell on Tuesday when he announced he was to quit Yamaha’s factory squad at the end of 2012.

The 28-year-old has struggled in his second season on a factory YZR-M1 and is currently the lowest ranked Yamaha rider down in 10th place in the world championship standings.

He hasn’t scored a podium yet in 2012 and his best result is fourth in Assen and Sachsenring.

The Texan said his decision to leave was for a ‘litany of reasons’, but none of which he wanted to elaborate on earlier today when he appeared in the pre-event press conference for this weekend’s US Grand Prix in California.

He said: “I've known for quite a while what my personal decision was and I thought it was the right time to do it with all the contracts happening with other riders to be out of the ball game. There are a litany of reasons behind it and just to get back to being stress free and finish out this season strong. Everybody can see the press release and that's what it means.  That's all I'm going to say about it until I'm ready to talk about the future. Whenever I want to speak about it I will but this weekend is not the time.”

Spies said his decision to quit, which came out of the blue even for his team who had no idea of his plans, would not affect his commitment over the second half of the season.

The 2009 World Superbike champion added: "It is not going to change anything and for the rest of the races I'll be giving 100% and do what myself and the bike are capable of doing.  Nothing changes. I just made a decision, which was something I had known for quite a while, but I wanted to get it off my chest and get it out of the way.  Now I feel the weight of the world is off my shoulders and I can do what I set out to do."

Rumours about what Spies will do in 2013 have inevitably dominated paddock gossip in Laguna Seca.

Some say he is close to securing a deal to ride a factory-supported BMW S1000RR in World Superbikes. Another rumour hints that he will be back racing a Suzuki GSX-R1000 in the American superbike series in 2013 before returning to MotoGP in ’14 in a new Suzuki MotoGP effort.

For nine pages of coverage from the US MotoGP round, see the August 1 issue of Motor Cycle News.


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