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September 13, 2012  |   By Paul Kelly

American Star Spies Staying In MotoGP In 2013 With New Ducati Team

American star Ben Spies will stay in MotoGP in 2013, racing for a new Ducati “junior” team at the Red Bull Indianapolis GP and all other events in the motorcycle World Championship.

Spies, from Longview, Texas, will pair with Moto2 race winner Andrea Iannone of Italy in the new team, created to accelerate development of Ducati’s MotoGP factory race motorcycle. Spies and Iannone are expected to race next season on the same specification of GP13 bike as Ducati Team factory riders Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso.

Pramac Racing, which runs one of two MotoGP teams this season using lower-spec Ducati satellite machinery, will manage the new team.

Spies announced in July that he would leave the Yamaha Factory Racing team after this season. He was named MotoGP Rookie of the Year in 2010 with the Tech 3 Yamaha satellite team, and earned his first MotoGP victory and finished fifth in points in 2011 during his first season with the factory team.

But Spies is 10th in MotoGP points, with a best finish of fourth, through 12 races this season after being plagued by a variety of freak mechanical problems.

There will be at least two Americans on the MotoGP grid in 2013, with a high probability for a third. 2006 World Champion Hayden will enter his 11th MotoGP season, with Spies joining him in the Ducati family.

Veteran Colin Edwards probably will stay in MotoGP in 2013 with NGM Mobile Forward Racing, for which he has competed on production-based Claiming Rules Team machinery this season.
The date for the sixth Red Bull Indianapolis GP at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will be announced soon, as MotoGP organizer Dorna is expected to release a provisional 2013 schedule shortly.