Ben Spies: ‘I’ll never race again’

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Ben Spies has admitted the serious shoulder injury that forced him into premature retirement last year will never recover sufficiently enough to allow the Texan race again.

The triple American superbike champion first damaged his right shoulder at the end of 2012 when he crashed out of a rain-lashed Malaysian round while riding for Yamaha’s factory squad.

Spies moved to the Ignite Ducati squad for 2013 but he only appeared in the first two rounds in Qatar and Circuit of the Americas before he had to take an extended absence from racing to recover.

Disaster struck though on his return to action in Indianapolis when he badly hurt his left shoulder and within weeks he announced the right shoulder issues were so severe that he could not race on.

It was thought Spies would see how a complete break from racing in 2014 would go before evaluating a possible return to racing in 2015.

But during an exclusive interview with MCN at the Circuit of the Americas in Texas last weekend, Spies said he had accepted that there is no chance for him to compete again.

The record-breaking 2009 World Superbike champion told MCN: “I want to say never say never but unless something dramatic happens in the world of medicine then 100% right now it is not happening at any level of racing, It sucks for sure but not when I know that if I gave 100% and tried to line up then it is dangerous because of the shoulder. That makes it an easier pill to swallow and when it comes to retirement it happened the way I would want it, as in not a big fuss. It was a nice way to step away from it and not get all emotional but it sucked the way it happened and I wish it had ended on a better note. But 2012 was a horrible year on a lot of fronts. And last year I should never have been racing. Besides that we had good years. I had one horrible season and I can live with that and I don’t have any regrets. If things were right I could maybe have won a couple more races in MotoGP and been in the top three in the championship but I don’t think being world champion was ever on the cards for me. I’m realistic and I know it was never going to happen.”

Spies said he has no definitive future plans lined up other than to ‘get fat and not have to turn down the tiramisu after a meal! “

He has several business interests though to occupy his time, including a rental property portfolio and his Stackhouse restaurant in Dallas. He is also preparing for some significant news with is elite cycling team, Elbowz Racing.

He added: “I’ve got some big news in the next month on the cycling team that will be really cool and we are going to another level with that. And I’ll try settle into a normal life. It’s fun and I’m liking it, I didn’t like the spotlight too much.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt