Season Over For Ben Spies: Shoulder Surgery Means 10-Week Layoff

Ben Spies is set to miss the remainder of the 2012 MotoGP season. The damage done to Spies' shoulder in the highside he suffered at Sepang was worse than expected, and required much more repair work than was at first anticipated. Spies damaged the ligaments in the anatomical structure which connects the collarbone to the scapula (or shoulder blade), requiring more extensive repairs, including adding tissue to strengthen the ligaments that were torn. 

The good news for Ben Spies is that his shoulder should be stronger when he returns to full fitness than before the crash, as the surgery also removed a plate Spies had had fitted previously, and removed some existing looseness in the joint, Spies' mother Mary told Cycle World. The bad news is that there is a 10-week recovery period, with Spies forced to spend that period with his arm in a sling to immobilize his shoulder. The long recovery period means that Spies will be forced to miss the last two races of the season, as well as the first MotoGP test of the 2013 season at Valencia, where he is scheduled to make his debut on the Ducati junior team run by Pramac.

The surgery has put a premature end to Spies' career with Yamaha. The injury is a miserable end to one of the roughest and ill-fated seasons in motorcycle racing history. Spies will be hoping that this will finally bring his run of appalling bad luck to an end.

Below is the official press release issued by Yamaha on Spies surgery. For more details from Mary Spies, visit the Cycle World website.

Ben Spies Undergoes Successful Surgery in the USA

Phillip Island

Yamaha Factory Racing rider Ben Spies has successfully completed surgery in the USA on October 23rd to repair torn ligament damage to his right shoulder following a crash in the Grand Prix of Malaysia on the 20th October.

The procedure consisted of the reconstruction of the Coracoclavicular Ligaments torn in the crash and a reduction of a separated Acrimioclavicular joint, aided by a Twin Tightrope device, which is a suture based system. Cadavar tissue was placed to replace and reinforce the Coracoclavicular Ligaments that were torn.

The surgery was successful, Spies will make a full recovery although he will need to remain in a sling for up to 10-12 weeks.

The decision on a replacement rider for the final round of the Championship at Valencia will be clarified by Yamaha Factory Racing following the Phillip Island weekend.

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Sorry to hear this. Great rider, huge potential, horrible year.

Looking forward to a revised Duke that allows all 4 of their riders to show their stuff on it.

Best of luck in your recovery Ben

Bummer that he's not going to be able to ride to Ducati at the first test. I would think he's going to need all the time he can get on it before next season. As everyone knows the first one you got to beat is your teamate, and that may prove to be very hard for Ben next year.

Unlikely that Ducati has anything new for Valencia, probably the 2013 bike still being developed. I don't think he will miss much at this point, but the lack of post season testing in general will be a huge challenge to overcome.

Ben didn't spend the time dirt tracking like some of the more successful Ducati riders. Spies is a front end rider, but not as accomplished as his competitors like pedrosa and Lorenzo. It seemed like he could not make the shift to the more torque heavy and rear end bias that the other riders did.
I'm inclined to say that the Ducati as it has been configured is the worst bike he could have chosen to ride. But Hayden doesn't have that many years left, and Ducati needs an american for the huge market in the states. Spies is still very popular here, and people are all too willing to believe a conspiracy against a Texan sports figure. (See: Armstrong, Lance). So the conspiracy of the day was he was sabotaged to open the way for Rossi to return. Spies had the biggest shoes in Motogp to fill, and was walking dead the minute rossi looked into returning--despite his record. Spies leaving Yamaha like he is pretty much quashes any return in the future--much like Rossi and Honda.

There have been several 1 time winners over the years where that feat paid very little over time. Elias, Laconi, Simon Crafar all won a GP. Where are they now? I believe Spies is different, Although he earned the best ride in town and his chance to be a champion is over for a good while, I do feel he was the best of the rest.

Yes, Dovi did have a fantastic season, he has also had his time to shine. I would say this is Dovis best year and if Spies can some how manage to stay in the top 5 next year he will well be vendicated.

Winning isn't everything in mgp? Is the REASON why they race. To WIN!!!
" Winning isn't everything, but wanting to win is.” -Vince Lombardi-