Ben Spies has decided to pull out of the Mugello round of MotoGP, after struggling on the first day of practice at the track. The Texan continues to have problems with a weak shoulder, as he recovers slowly from the surgery performed to correct the damage done in his crash at Sepang last October.
This is the second time that Spies has been forced to withdraw after returning to action too early. After a short period of physical rehabilitation, Spies went straight into winter testing, and then participated in the first race at Qatar, in which he struggled.
He tried again at Austin, but was forced to withdraw from that race after developing severe strain in his pectoral muscles as they struggled to compensate for the lack of strength. Spies then decided to skip both Jerez and Le Mans, to recover from both the chest strain and the shoulder surgery, before coming back at Mugello.
Mugello’s fast changes of direction have proved to be too difficult to handle, especially maintaining the fine control of throttle and brake while he muscles the bike around. In consultation with his team, Ducati, and the physical staff, he has decided to withdraw from the race at Mugello, in order to have further medical checks on his shoulder.
Doctors told Spies after Austin that it would take at least three months to get back to full fitness, but Spies was determined to come back as soon as possible. He told reporters on Friday that he had felt strong during training, but riding a bike turned out to be a lot harder than he had estimated, especially at Mugello, with its fast direction changes.
The Ignite Pramac team have not announced when they expect Spies to return, though it seems optimistic to expect him to be at Barcelona. An announcement will be made once he has consulted with medical specialists.
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.