News & Multimedia

American MotoGP Star Spies Retires From Racing

American MotoGP star Ben Spies announced his retirement from racing Saturday, Oct. 26, ending his competition career at age 29 due to a shoulder injury.

Spies raced in only the first two events of the 2013 season on the Ignite Pramac Ducati as he struggled to recover from reconstructive surgery on his right shoulder in October 2012. Spies suffered the major shoulder injury last October in a crash during the Grand Prix of Malaysia.

“I had such high hopes for racing for Ducati, and Ducati has been incredibly supportive of me during this challenging year, so I am tremendously disappointed that I have not been able to fulfill my personal goals and team goals with Ducati,” Spies said. “I want to thank everyone from racing organizations, factories, teams and all my fans for helping me and supporting me throughout my career. I never dreamed that I would reach the level of success that I have over the past 20 years of racing, but the time has come to stop, and I do so with great sadness.”

Spies, from Longview, Texas, enjoyed a meteoric career on the world level. He won three consecutive American Motorcyclist Association Superbike titles from 2006-08 and won the World Superbike championship as a rookie in 2009 in his first season of global racing.

Spies climbed to MotoGP in 2010 with Monster Yamaha Tech 3, earning Rookie of the Year honors after finishing sixth in the World Championship standings. His best event of his rookie year was the Red Bull Indianapolis GP at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where Spies earned his only career MotoGP pole and finished second in the race.

Promoted to the Yamaha Factory Racing team in 2011, Spies earned his only career MotoGP victory in a magisterial ride in the rain at the prestigious TT Assen. He also finished third at Indianapolis, one of four podium finishes that helped him to fifth place in the points that season.

The 2012 season was a nightmare for Spies. He fought through illness, injury and numerous mechanical problems, finishing 10th in points with a best result of fourth for Yamaha Factory Racing before suffering the major shoulder injury in Malaysia.

Spies moved to the Ignite Pramac Ducati team for a fresh start in 2013. But he struggled with weakness and pain in his surgically reconstructed shoulder during preseason testing and finished 10th and 13th, respectively, in the first two races of the season.

Continuing pain and weakness in his shoulder and a chest injury forced Spies from his bike for the next two races. He practiced and qualified in late May at the Grand Prix of Italy but did not race due to persistent problems with his shoulder.

Spies attempted one more comeback, in August at the Red Bull Indianapolis GP at IMS. But that return ended early when he crashed during pre-qualifying practice and separated his left shoulder. That would end up as his final MotoGP event.

“We would like to salute Ben Spies for his remarkable career and are sad that injuries are forcing him from the seat,” said J. Douglas Boles, Indianapolis Motor Speedway president. “Ben has been a fantastic ambassador for the Red Bull Indianapolis GP and for the exciting, great sport of MotoGP motorcycle racing in the United States, and we always will welcome him back to IMS with great affection and appreciation. We wish him the best of luck for the next phase of his life.”


2014 tickets: Tickets for the 2014 Red Bull Indianapolis GP will go on sale Monday, Nov. 4 by visiting, calling 800-822-INDY or 317-492-6700 or visiting the IMS Ticket Office at the IMS Administration Building at the corner of Georgetown Road and 16th Street between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday-Friday.

Tickets for groups of 20 or more also are available. Contact the IMS Group Sales Department at 866-221-8775 for more information.

Information on camping at IMS during the Red Bull Indianapolis GP is available at Hotel package information can be found at

Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
American MotoGP Star Spies Retires From Racing
American MotoGP Star Spies Retires From Racing
American MotoGP star Ben Spies announced his retirement from racing Saturday, Oct. 26, ending his competition career at age 29 due to a shoulder injury.
Read More
Related Media
Gasoline Alley
Month of May Bronze Badges Now On Sale
One of the most treasured pieces of racing memorabilia and among the greatest entertainment values in sports, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Month of May Bronze Badges are on sale now just in time for the holiday season. Visit for purchasing information.
Read More
Miller Lite Carb day
Legendary Band Journey to Rock Miller Lite Carb Day over Historic 100th Running Indianapolis 500 Weekend
The historic 2016 Indianapolis 500 weekend, culminating with the 100th Running of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing, will kick off on Friday, May 27, with the legendary rock band Journey on Miller Lite Carb Day.
Read More
Kyle Busch
Monday Racing Roundup: Kyle Busch Wins NASCAR Sprint Cup Title at Homestead
Finishing off one of the most remarkable comebacks in NASCAR history—indeed, in the annals of sport—Kyle Busch won Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway and, with it, his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship.
Read More
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Monday Racing Roundup: Championship Foursome Set
A serendipitous sequence of pit stops and a drizzle that turned into a downpour made a winner of Dale Earnhardt Jr. in Sunday night’s Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway, the start of which was delayed from day to night by rain in the afternoon.
Read More
Hulman Terrace Club
New Hulman Terrace Club Offers Premium Seating for IMS Events
The Hulman Terrace Club, located on the outside of the front straightaway of the famed 2.5-mile oval past the exit of Turn 4, will feature more than 1,000 seats plus ADA-accessible seating for fans seeking a club option similar to what is offered at many other major U.S. stadiums. It’s the first new seating option at IMS in more than a decade and a key piece of the ongoing Project 100 initiative. Pre-sale registration is available here with tickets officially going on sale Dec. 1.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 2,070
Reserve one of our hospitality suites for your next event!
To start planning your event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway please fill out our Information Request Form or contact Laura Wyamn at (317) 492-8557 or email at
Latest Tweets
RT @RevIndyEvent: “@lizbiro: Knock knock! @revindyevent tix on sale now.”!
about 35 minutes ago