Ducati On Spies: "He Wants Too Much Money"

Earlier today, we reported on rumors that Ben Spies was in the frame for the Factory Ducati ride in World Superbikes. We also mentioned that there was one problem standing in the way of a Spies - Ducati World Superbike deal, and that was Ducati's need to have an Italian rider on the team.

Well, it seems there is another, more serious problem, and one that seems to be a factor in every deal that Spies is linked with: the question of money. Like many of the riders in the AMA Superbike championship, Spies is extremely well paid. Like those riders, though, Spies is also aware that though an AMA title is nice, it doesn't have the status or the standing of a world championship. If Spies wants to know how he measures up against the rest of the world, he will have to head to Europe to ride in a series with a world title at stake.

And here's where the two desires clash: When Spies tells the teams who are interested in him as a rider how much money he needs as a base salary, they lose interest in him quicker than a teenage boy who has just spotted an oversized adam's apple. His reputed wage claim of US$ 2 million is bigger than anyone else in World Superbikes, and matches - and probably beats - most of the factory riders in MotoGP. For a rookie coming into a series, that's just way too much to be asking.

Now, the Italian website GPOne.com is carrying a report illustrating just how big a problem that is. Davide Tardozzi, the head of Ducati's World Superbike problem, confirmed to GPOne.com that Ducati had spoken to Spies' management, but that they weren't interested in the deal because of the money involved. "Even in dollars, millions are still millions," Tardozzi is quoted as saying. "We spoke to them, and there was an exchange of e-mails, but it was more like two ships passing each other at a great distance in thick fog. Spies is an interesting rider to us, but he is asking for too much money", Tardozzi told GPOne.com.

Time is running out for the Texan. It's obvious that there are a lot of teams out there interested in Spies, and there seems little doubt that Spies would do well in either MotoGP or World Superbikes. But if Spies is serious about coming to Europe, he will have to be more realistic about what he can expect to earn.


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He may have help from a very shrewd advisor, IF this is a tactic to try and isolate the ride he really wants.  If he were to hop on a career-killing bike in MotoGP then he would probably want to make up for that in an inflated paycheck - or, at least suggesting to that team that is how much his lost season is going to cost them. 

Conversely, this may be a stall tactic for the Ducati WSBK ride.  There's a few more names being floated than there are seats.  If he were to sign up for one of them, he would want a guarantee of an opportunity in MotoGP.  But, if what we all expect to unfold does, Hayden and Stoner will be in those seats for the foreseeable future, and Spies shouldn't want to wait that long.  So, in trade would have to come a high salary from an American company (Xerox) for this American rider to put his ambitions on ice.

I suspect there is a ploy to leverage his salary options against his IndyGP performance.  If he does well, he has clout with any American advertiser looking at MotoGP or WSBK.  I can't imagine he'd sign anything before then...  less than a month from now.

I know you can't compare, but the best player in USA Major League Baseball, Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees, makes $28,000,000 per year.

I think Ben earns his pay.

 For sure it can't be compare, first of, athlete that you have mention have already put statistics numbers and multiple world records, that's why they can negotiate their big salaries. Now, Ben Spies still have a long way to go for that to achieve. I do not take or nor give his abilities as a motorcycle rider, but his numbers so far on MotoGP are not so great and that's the truth. At Donington Park GBR he finished 14th place and gaping 49.591 sec. from 1st., also at US Red Bull,  he knows that racing track like his own back hand and still finished 8th place gaping 41.927. Toni Elias took him at the last lap, so it meant that Ben Spies was struggling to keep up position.

First, he has to prove that he's a true champion and at least get regularly on the podium, and for that he has to ride like the devil himself, put battle after battle with everyone, and show to the world that he's capable to win.

Has he earn the big money in MotoGP?... NOT YET !