Yonny Hernandez is to replace the injured Ben Spies for the rest of the 2013 MotoGP season. So far, Spies’ seat has been filled by Ducati tester Michele Pirro, but the stress of racing as well as working through a very busy test schedule has taken its toll on the young Italian.

Furthermore, Pirro racing the three flyaways would have meant that testing would have ceased for the three-week duration, and with work in full swing for the 2014 season, that was not time Ducati had to lose.

Who will take Hernandez place at PBM is as yet unknown. Michael Laverty looks set to take Hernandez’s ART machine for the rest of the season, while no clear favorite has yet emerged to take over the PBM Aprilia on the other side of the garage.

What this means for Spies’ future is as yet uncertain. The Texan has a contract with Ducati for the 2014 season, but Spies’ extended absence through injury has created tension in the Pramac team.

There is unfounded paddock gossip that if Hernandez adapts well to the Desmosedici, he could take Spies’ place next year. That, however, depends on a messy and expensive severance between Ducati and Spies.

At the moment, such talk should be rated as improbable, but not entirely impossible.

Source: Ignite Ducati; Photo: © 2013 Scott Jones / Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved

This article was originally published on MotoMatters, and is republished here on Asphalt & Rubber with permission by the author.

  • Grimey Benson

    Give Spies the benefit of the doubt, maybe he is just lactose intolerant.

  • SquidleyMcSquidson


  • Ken C.

    Ben Spies is one of my favorite riders, but if I were in Pramac’s position, I’d do the same thing. It’s not fair to Pramac to continue to pay Spies’s salary for not showing up. As with any other job, you only get so many sick days before they fire you. Maybe he can start to collect disability. :P

  • growl

    Nice to hear its him to take the seat. Love his riding style, very casey-like. Could end up well, maybe.

  • “It’s not fair to Pramac to continue to pay Spies’s salary for not showing up.”

    Spies’s contract is with Ducati, not Pramac.

  • jet

    Poor ben,the future looks dim.MotoGP can either make you or “break” you.

  • his future is in the WSBK … look at Elias last weekend ;o)