Ben Spies says Yamaha told him it had lost confidence in him

Ben Spies has revealed that he left Yamaha after one of his employers told him the team had lost confidence in him

Ben Spies says Yamaha told him it had lost confidence in him

Spies announced via his own Twitter feed last July that he was quitting Yamaha's factory MotoGP team.

After a period of uncertainty about his future, he signed for Ducati's revamped second squad.

In a column for American magazine Cycle World, Spies said the crunch moment with Yamaha came when he was suffering from food poisoning at Mugello.

"Yamaha stayed in Italy and tested the next day, but I didn't ride. I couldn't ride. I couldn't move. I couldn't do anything," Spies wrote.

"A senior Yamaha employee - that's as specific as I'm going to get - said to me 'we've invested a lot of money in you. Don't come to Laguna Seca if you aren't 100 per cent.'

"Then, he added: 'we've lost confidence in you.'

"That was the moment when I decided I wasn't going to ride for Yamaha in 2013. I have a lot of good friends at Yamaha, but when someone talks down to you like that, you lose respect for them."

Spies had a disastrous last season with Yamaha, failing to reach the podium and finishing just 10th in a championship won by team-mate Jorge Lorenzo.

He suffered a run of mechanical failures, admitted he struggled to make his riding style work with the 2012 M1, and then missed the final rounds due to injury.

The 28-year-old said he came close to giving up on MotoGP.

"After my engine blew up while I was running second at Indianapolis, I thought I wanted to leave MotoGP," Spies said.

"I started paying attention to World Superbike. That series was great to me when I was there in 2009, and the previous director, Paolo Ciabatti, is a good friend of mine.

"He would have loved to see me back in SBK. I still might go back there one day."

But despite offers from BMW and Ducati, he ultimately chose to stay in MotoGP, choosing Ducati's Pramac squad ahead of a possibility at Gresini Honda.

"I started thinking a lot and finally concluded that I haven't reached my full capabilities in MotoGP," Spies said.

"What that is, I don't know. I'm not going to say I can win this many races or a championship, but I don't want to walk away and in five years say, 'I could have done this or that.'"

He is optimistic that the Ducati will give him a better chance to show his potential than the Yamaha.

"The Yamaha is a great bike, but it likes a lot of corner speed. If it moves, if the wheels get out of line, it gets upset," Spies said.

"Both the Honda and the Ducati look like they can be ridden a little more 'wild'."

shares
comments
Best features of 2012: Stoner stuns MotoGP
Previous article

Best features of 2012: Stoner stuns MotoGP

Next article

Michael Laverty never expected to land MotoGP ride

Michael Laverty never expected to land MotoGP ride
How Quartararo is evoking an absent MotoGP great in 2022 Plus

How Quartararo is evoking an absent MotoGP great in 2022

OPINION: Fabio Quartararo has seized control of the 2022 MotoGP world standings after another dominant victory as his nearest rivals faltered. And he is very much heading towards a second championship echoing how the dominator of the last decade achieved much of his success

MotoGP
Jun 20, 2022
The human importance of Marquez’s latest enforced MotoGP absence Plus

The human importance of Marquez’s latest enforced MotoGP absence

OPINION: Marc Marquez will likely sit out the remainder of the 2022 MotoGP season to undergo a fourth major operation on the right arm he badly broke in 2020. It is hoped it will return him to his brilliant best after a tough start to the season without a podium to his name. But it’s the human victory that will far outweigh any future on-track success he may go on to have

MotoGP
May 31, 2022
Why Ducati holds all the power in its MotoGP rider dilemma Plus

Why Ducati holds all the power in its MotoGP rider dilemma

OPINION: The French Grand Prix looks to have made Ducati’s decision on its factory team line-up simpler, as Enea Bastianini stormed to his third win of the campaign and Jorge Martin crashed out for a fifth time in 2022. But, as Ducati suggests to Autosport, it remains in the strongest position in a wild rider market

MotoGP
May 16, 2022
The seismic aftershock left by Suzuki's decision to leave MotoGP Plus

The seismic aftershock left by Suzuki's decision to leave MotoGP

Suzuki's sudden decision to leave the MotoGP World Championship at the end of the season has acted as a stirring element in a market that had already erupted. Autosport analyses what this means for the grid going into 2023

MotoGP
May 11, 2022
How the real Ducati began to emerge in MotoGP’s Spanish GP Plus

How the real Ducati began to emerge in MotoGP’s Spanish GP

Ducati’s 2022 MotoGP bike has had a tough start to life and the expected early-season title charge from Francesco Bagnaia did not materialise. But the Spanish Grand Prix signalled a turning point for both the GP22 and Bagnaia, as the 2021 runner-up belatedly got his season underway after a straight fight with Fabio Quartararo

MotoGP
May 2, 2022
How Honda's praise for its 2022 MotoGP bike has turned into doubt Plus

How Honda's praise for its 2022 MotoGP bike has turned into doubt

In a little over two months, Honda has gone from setting the pace in MotoGP testing with its new RC213V prototype to being at a crossroads - caused by the discrepancy in its riders' feedback. After a Portuguese GP that underwhelmed, serious questions are now being asked of Honda in 2022

MotoGP
Apr 26, 2022
Why Quartararo's Portugal win wasn't only vital for his MotoGP title hopes Plus

Why Quartararo's Portugal win wasn't only vital for his MotoGP title hopes

Fabio Quartararo got his MotoGP title defence off the ground in the Portuguese Grand Prix as a dominant first win of 2022 rocketed him to the top of the standings. While a significant result in terms of his title hopes, it has come at an even more important time in terms of his 2023 contract negotiations

MotoGP
Apr 25, 2022
How a MotoGP legend is preparing for an unexpected comeback at Goodwood Plus

How a MotoGP legend is preparing for an unexpected comeback at Goodwood

Wayne Rainey, who’s paralysed from the chest down, will ride his 1992 500cc world championship-winning bike again at this year's Goodwood Festival of Speed. The American motorcycle legend explains how he's preparing to thrill on his first visit to the famed hillclimb

MotoGP
Apr 19, 2022