Ben Spies Dislocates Left Shoulder, Pulls Out Of Indianapolis GP - Updated

Ben Spies' run of truly appalling luck continues. During the Saturday morning FP3 session of practice for the MotoGP race at Indianapolis, Spies was thrown from his Ignite Pramac Ducati and fell very heavily on his left shoulder. The Texan was taken to the medical center at the circuit, where he was diagnosed with an acromioclavicular joint dislocation, the separation of the collarbone from the shoulder blade. Spies has been forced to withdraw from the Indianapolis GP.

The accident could not have come at a worse time. Spies had just made his return after a layoff of nearly two months, which had been preceded by a string of intermittent races as he struggled with the recovery from surgery on his right shoulder. He had injured that shoulder in a huge crash in the wet at Sepang. The Texan had returned to racing too early from that injury, and been forced to stop after his home race at Austin. Another return at Mugello proved to be premature, Spies then deciding to wait until he was fully recovered before attempting to race again. That came at Indy, and Spies had commented after the first day that it was nice to be able to ride at full strength again.

His hopes were shattered on Saturday morning, when he fell heavily on his left shoulder. Dislocating the shoulder is painful enough, but to do so at this moment, at the first of a triple header of races which sees MotoGP fly from Indy to Brno and then straight to Silverstone on three consecutive weekends gives him no time to recover. His plans are as yet unknown, nor is the severity of the dislocation. If it is only minor, he could be back racing quickly. If it is more severe, he could be out for several months.

Once we receive official word of his condition, we shall post an update as soon as possible.


Spies told Cycle News that he suffered a grade 3 separation of the acromioclavicular joint. He is returning to Dallas for treatment. He will be out for three weeks at least. A grade 3 separation is often treated without the need for surgery, but his specialist will examine him to decide on whether surgery is the best course of treatment or not.

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I don't know what ever all powerful entity you've pissed off, but you may want to start thinking about offering up your first born child or a virgin sacrifice to appease it.

A Fan of Yours

Dear Matt Mladen please put the #11 voodoo doll down next to the Fiat M1 doll and quit poking them.
P.S. would it be possible for you to turn your attention to engine allocation and fuel limit rules by chance?

Don't think Matt has any jealousy issues : he said a few years back "I'd rather stick a screwdriver in my eye" than go back to GP.

No comment about his Castiglione or Kocinski dolls, otoh...

No-one likes to see an obviously talented, but seemingly unlucky rider getting hurt, but surely this latest spill should convince Ben that his future racing career, if he has one, lies outside MotoGP.

Like so many who have disappointed at the top level have shown, (Toseland, Walker, Hodgson just to name some British riders) the route to MotoGP via Superbikes is probably not the way to go.

OK, Crutchlow survived a poor first season and has shone and there have been the odd races where a Superbike rider has performed over and above his ability, given a suitable track, but consistently the finesse of riding bikes which require a delicate touch and razor sharp handling, rather than a "grip it and rip it" style of riding will ultimately win out.

I wish Ben well, but for heaven's sake get out before you are carried out, terminally.

Without knowing weather Bens accident was entirely his own doing or caused by a machine glitch that a long bow to draw. I'm certainly no fan of Bens joyless demeanour but hold the knives for a moment.

Equally silly is your superbike argument. Wayne Gardner came from domestic superbike competition in Aus, UK & Japan to a 500GP title, Eddie Lawson Kevin Schwantz & Wayne Rainey similarly from the US & Mick Doohan was a multiple WSBK race winner before his reign as multiple 500GP champion. Last but not least is Troy Bayliss. He came to MotoGP at the start Ducatis entry into the 990cc class as a WSBK champion & performed equally as well as Loris Capirossi, a 125 & 250cc champion & 500cc race winner at the peak of his career. Bumped by sponsor politics back to WSBK he won another two WSBK championships before returning to win the last race of the 990 era as a wildcard. The fact that the those riders you mentioned stumbled at the last hurdle speaks more about british rider culture more than anything else.

The price a rider has to pay in getting a ducati to act like a racing motorcycle is just too high and not worth it at this point. The scary moment at last years Indy race when Nicky suffered a serious head injury too clearly in memory. They are not near getting that thing right and an embarrassment to the brand racing as they are at this level. When Nick gets a new ride on an M1 we should all celebrate his survival.

I don't think this had anything to do with being on a Ducati.

duckati satelite is pretty much a an exit path of motogp already, these series of bad luck really cornfirms it, sorry for Ben. Honda Production race or wsbk would be the way to go if a tv commentator is not in mind.

Just watched that crash a few times. I am a fan of his and always will be. He has more talent than any of the current US Pros. But I am starting to agree with Jorge Lorenzo when they asked about Ben's struggles last year. He stated that he believes it is mental. Now the rash of bike breakages are clearly bad luck, (or sabotage depending on the way you look at it.) Watching that crash today is making me feel the same about him as I do James (Bubba) Stewart in motocross/supercross.

Both people have super talent, but eventually get punchdrunk like an old boxer with all the crashing they are doing. Bubba is already there. Like an old boxer that cannot speak, Ben is getting so banged up he will not be able to ride. It looked like he got on the gas a little too hard on a cold tire. Hope he gets well, but with all the consistant bashing for the last two years, I just cannot imagine Ben Spies being the same after all this. His confidence may never return.

By the way the comments about the curse and voodoo doll by synfinatic and Motoshrink are hilarious.

I was questioning Ben picking Indy as the track to make his return on.

Surely he must have considered the dodgy surface which many others have tripped up on (& ending Casey Stoner's season last year) would surely increase his chances of crashing.

I understand your point and I think that may have held sway but for the fact it was his home (country, if not state) round.

This guy is the biggest "head case" since Spencer or Stoner. Loads of talent, but fragile in the cranium department. To be a real champion you need the talent AND the mental stability....something very rare in this sport at the top level.

Really? Are we gonna go all over Stoner's mental strength issue again? You really think a guy without mental strength would be able to save the Ducati from crashing 4-5 times in a lap and still be just two-tenths off the front runners' times? And do it for laps on end? And for races on end?

Without enough mental strength he wouldn't have been able to stay away from home since the age of 14 (unlike most European riders) and known a life bound in just suitcases. Where (if the stories are true) to make his sores less painful he would just urinate on his hands and go to sleep in his trailer (that was his home, by the way). And this too for days on end.

Spies has also had to make a lot of sacrifices and it doesn't take lesser mental strength to beat Mat Mladin three years in a row. Not that he didn't make a technical error today. But have your shoulder ligaments torn and try riding a 260 bhp bike with carbon brakes after just a few months of healing wherein it takes much more time than that to heal.

And please don't even compare collarbone fractures to ligament tears. They are worlds apart when it comes to healing.