Ben Spies won’t be making a move back to the Tech 3 Yamaha if Cal Crutchlow or Andrea Dovizioso land the Texan’s place in Yamaha’s official factory squad for 2013.
With Jorge Lorenzo signed on a new two-year deal, Yamaha is now considering its options for the second rider in its factory team, with Spies still hotly-tipped to keep his place despite a disappointing start to 2012.
The 2009 World Superbike champion hasn’t scored a podium so far and his best result of fifth came only last weekend in round six at Silverstone.
Crutchlow and Dovizioso’s outstanding performances at Tech 3 have only increased the pressure on Spies, with both eyeing a factory slot next to 2010 MotoGP world champion Lorenzo.
The French-based Tech 3 squad already has Moto2 rider Bradley Smith signed a on two-year MotoGP deal but team boss Herve Poncharal doubts a scenario where Spies could return, depending on what happens with Crutchlow and Dovizioso.
Crutchlow is mulling over a two-year deal to move to Ducati’s factory squad though his preference is to remain with Yamaha but on a factory YZR-M1.
And Dovizioso has repeatedly spoken of his intention to be back on a factory bike in 2013.
Spies rode his rookie year in 2010 for Tech 3 and finished sixth overall with podium finishes at Silverstone and Indianapolis.
Poncharal told MCN: “I can’t see Ben coming back to us happening. We had a good year for him and us in 2010, which put Ben in the factory team. He is a great talent and very exciting for us.
"For Ben I think it would be a step backwards and I don’t like to say that because it means we don’t have a team that’s capable of doing well.
"But we will always follow Yamaha and if they wanted to swap Ben with one of our riders we would be happy to do that. But I am not sure Ben would be happy to do this.”