Crashing hard in the Malaysian GP, it initially seemed that Ben Spies had escaped serious injury, as the Clinica Mobile staff gave the American rider a clean bill of health at the circuit. Getting examined further in Kuala Lumpur however, it became apparent that Spies had suffered quite a number of injuries – an AC shoulder separation, a cracked rib in the upper-chest area, and bruising to his lung, to be precise.
Undergoing surgery today at the National Surgery Center near San Jose, California, Spies reported on Twitter that the operation had gone well, though the extent of his injuries will mean an increase in the duration of his recovery time, with 10 to 12 weeks being the number banded about. This news means that Spies will miss not only the Australian GP, but also the Valencian GP and the post-season MotoGP testing — a serious blow to the soon-to-be Ducati rider.
The news is an almost fitting end to Spies’ miserable season, battle a bevy of mechanical malfunctions and rider errors that have marred his Championship standing results. Even when on his form, and with a solid bike underneath him, Spies has had to contend with the intrepidly fast Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Dovizioso, two satellite Yamaha riders that were keen on taking Ben’s spot for the 2013 season.
With that factory Yamaha seat going to current-Ducati rider Valentino Rossi instead, there is some symmetry to the fact that Spies will be on the Ducati Junior team being run by Pramac Racing next season. Spies will be joined by Andrea Iannone at Pramac.