Bad news for Ben Spies today, as the American rider finds himself a member of prestigious, yet dubious group of MotoGP riders. After losing a case over un-paid commissions, an arbitration panel has ruled that Speez Racing, LLC (the management company for Ben Spies) and Spies himself have failed to compensate Spies’ agent, and must pay Spies former agent, Doug Gond of Protac Inc., $1.9 million in damages and arbitration costs.
The center issue that was at stake in the case was Spies landing in World Superbike for the 2009 season, instead of MotoGP. Since Spies raced in WSBK, Speez Racing argued that Protac had breached its contract with the young rider, and as such was not entitled to its 15% commission.
Speez Racing which is owned by Mary Spies (51% owner, and Spies’ manager), Ben Spies (48%), and Lisa Spies (1%), was found by the arbitration panel to have engaged in contracts with a pattern of bad-faith, where the group would agree to contracts knowing that terms agreed to could not occur. Additionally, the panel also found that Protac had committed no material breaches to its contract with Speez Racing, and as such was entitled to compensation.
As such, the arbitration panel awarded Protac 15% of Spies past earnings, and 15% of his estimated earnings through 2012. Spies will also have to cover the cost of the arbitration process. Under federal law, the arbitrators’ ruling is a binding legal holding.