Ben Spies explains Ducati switch

Published: 14 September 2012

Ben Spies has given his reasons for abandoning plans to return to World Superbikes in 2013 to sign a deal to race a factory-backed Ducati in MotoGP.

The Texan looked certain to be heading to World Superbikes to partner Marco Melandri in a BMW Italia effort when he revealed in Indianapolis that he if he was racing in 2013 it would definitely not be in MotoGP.

The 2009 World Superbike champion’s future has been the subject of intense speculation since he dropped a bombshell on the eve of the Laguna Seca round at the end of July that he was quitting Yamaha’s factory MotoGP squad at the end of 2012.

Spies though has had a dramatic change of heart and in Brno recently it emerged he was negotiating with Fausto Gresini’s satellite Honda squad and Ducati.

His deal to partner Italian Moto2 rider Andrea Iannone in a Pramac Ducati squad on full factory spec Desmosedici machinery was confirmed in the build-up to this weekend’s Misano round.

And speaking to MCN earlier after a rain-hit opening day of practice he said: “Next year is going to be a big adventure and a big change but for the rest of the year I am still 100% focussed on trying to get good results that I believe all of us deserve.

"We have shown good speed but unfortunately we have had some problems. I know next year is big news but right now I don't want to talk about next year too much because I want to focus on what I'm doing for the next two months."

When asked by MCN what had convinced him to pledge his future to MotoGP, he added: “I've been in World Superbikes and you never know what you can do if you go back and I’m not saying I could go and win a title or win how many races but I've been there and have done it.

"I know for me that in MotoGP I don't know what I can do but I know I haven't got the most out of what I can do. I know that and that is why I had to think a lot about it and I don't want regrets in five years knowing that I left something out there and didn't reach my full potential.

"That's the reason I've done what I have and change is good. It could be a good thing but we’ll wait and see. But right now my focus is to get where I need to be this year and be back at the front."

Spies has had a nightmare run of bad luck in his second season with Yamaha’s factory s quad and is yet to score a podium.

Talking about his potential and what he is capable of delivering in the future, Spies added: “It's hard to say. Casey (Stoner) is retiring so that leaves Jorge (Lorenzo) as the fastest and I would say that him and Casey are the two most talented riders for sure.

"When Dani (Pedrosa) is healthy he is very fast but I think if I put together a normal season then I really think that top three in the championship is possible.

"I know I can win races and while you can’t say exactly what you can do I can just know that I haven't been able to achieve and get the most out of myself since I've been here."

For more reaction from Spies and the paddock to his Ducati switch, see the September 19 issue of Motor Cycle News.