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Pramac: No Jerez replacement for Ben Spies

2 May 2013

Pramac Ducati has confirmed that the injured Ben Spies will not be replaced during this weekend's Spanish MotoGP at Jerez.

Spies has withdrawn in order to undergo further rehabilitation on his healing shoulder, which required major surgery following last October's accident in the Malaysian Grand Prix.

With Ducati test rider Michele Pirro already scheduled to race as a wild-card at Jerez, it was initially rumoured that the Italian would 'replace' Spies.

However as a replacement Pirro would have been forced to use Spies' 2013 engine allocation, severely limiting Ducati's plans to race-test new parts.

Instead Pirro will remain a 'wild-card' at Jerez, run by the Ducati test team, and thus free to use two new engines - including the "development parts", which are unlikely to have been compatible with Spies' engines.

'There will be no substitute rider for Ignite Pramac Racing Team racer Ben Spies, who stayed back home in Texas in order to undergo intensive treatment as he works to regain his physical fitness following the operation to his shoulder and the problem with his pectoral muscle, suffered during the last round, in Austin,' said a Pramac team statement.

Rookie Andrea Iannone will therefore be the only Pramac rider at Jerez, with Spies sending the following message:

"I want to give good luck wishes to the team for the race and also thank everyone who has sent me their best wishes for my recovery. I am doing my absolute best to get back to 100%, where I need to be, for the team and Ducati."

Spies intends to be back for round four, at Le Mans, later this month.


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