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Ben Spies - Q&A

"I've got a 2 year deal and the biggest thing is that it's a factory contract which means that I can ride for Pramac, the factory team or any Ducati team that they have" - Ben Spies.
By Christian Tiburtius

An exclusive interview with Pramac Ducati's Ben Spies, who is returning to action in this weekend's Italian MotoGP at Mugello after missing the last two rounds.

Spies talks about his shoulder injury, his career progression, the move from Yamaha to Ducati, how to make the racing in MotoGP closer and more...

Crash.net:
The first question has to be, how are you feeling?

Ben Spies:
I think I'm doing, in fact I know I'm doing a lot better than I was in Austin. It's been 30 to 35 days now doing rehab during the day when I've been home and I feel a lot better than I did 4 or 5 weeks ago and I just need to get back on the bike to see how I feel and start building from there. I won't know until Friday or Saturday how things are going, but we can say that we've done everything possible to be fit for the race.

Crash.net:
So you haven't ridden a bike recently?

Ben Spies:
No, I haven't been able to do testing or anything like that but I've been doing workouts that I'd never done in my life before to try to work out the various muscles needed.

Crash.net:
You've got a shoulder injury and chest pain, are they linked?

Ben Spies:
Yeah, we got a chest injury at Austin on Sunday morning and that was effectively due to me compensating for my shoulder and that gave me a major strain of the pec muscle where it attaches into the shoulder.

They say injuries can make injuries and that's kinda what happened and we've been working on all the areas around it to make it less likely to happen. Coming back so soon has meant that there are so many areas in the chest shoulder and back which are very weak and we have been trying to work on areas that I might compensate with.

Crash.net:
Does the fact that there can be a stand-in for an injured rider make recovery from injury more difficult for a bike racer?

Ben Spies:
I can see that in a bunch of different ways, we didn't have any pressure in that way to come back after the shoulder injury, but that was also the reason why I may have come back a little too soon. Not because anyone else was going to be riding the bike but because of it being the beginning of the season. We don't just have matches, we've got a whole championship and I needed to come back as soon as I could and it was that that kinda set the other injury off.

Yes there are always riders who can step in and take your place when you're out, but for me my first goal is just to get healthy for me and what happens 'til then is basically out of my control. So I don't look at it like that, I'm just trying to get to 100% and that's all we can do. It's one of those injuries you can't just ride through like you can with a little bit of pain from a small broken bone. It's a different style of injury that takes a lot of time.

When we're not healthy we have a test rider and that helps a lot. Michele [Pirro] did a great job at Le Mans, I wanted to be on the bike but I had to do other things to get fit.

Crash.net:
How much pain are you in on a day-to-day basis?

Ben Spies:



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