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 www.ims.com/tickets, 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 www.ims.com/tickets. Hotel package information can be found at visitindy.com/redbullhotels.
 

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
Rev Indy
 
Countdown to 100 Days Kicks Off February 18 on the Yard of Bricks
Due to outstanding interest in this countdown celebration, space is extremely limited. Individuals who would like to attend must RSVP via Eventbrite by 3 p.m. on Saturday, February 13. Thank you for sharing our enthusiasm for this monumental milestone!
Read More
Kayla Medaris
 
Why I Love the Infield: Time to be a True American
Kayla Medaris, from New Palestine, Indiana, will be attending her third Indianapolis 500 this May. Medaris, 20, attends Anderson University.
Read More
Chuck Marlow
 
Remembering Chuck Marlowe, of the IMS Radio Network
Chuck Marlowe, who passed away in Indianapolis on Feb. 11 at the age of 86, was a longtime member of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network broadcast crew.
Read More
Jim Travers
 
A Tribute to the Late Jim Travers
Jim Travers, the colorful co-chief mechanic on Bill Vukovich’s Indianapolis 500-winning Fuel Injection Special of 1953 and 1954, passed away in Kanab, Utah on Monday, Feb. 10, four days after being injured in a fall. He was 95.
Read More
Fan Memories
 
Fan Memories: 'Race Day is Christmas Morning'
Trent Pohlar, originally from Indianapolis and now living in Greenwood, Indiana, will be attending his 49th consecutive Indianapolis 500. Pohlar, 59, works as a project sales manager for Architectural Glass & Metal Company, Inc.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 2,099
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 lwyman@brickyard.com.
Latest Tweets
Countdown to 100 Days Kicks Off February 18 on the Yard of Bricks - RSVP by 3pm today! https://t.co/ezu6OC7Jf6 https://t.co/LCPXTxcocz
about 20 hours ago