Ben Spies to leave factory Yamaha squad

Ben Spies

Ben Spies

American Ben Spies has confirmed his exit from Yamha’s factory MotoGP team at the end of this season.

The 28-year-old has endured a difficult second year so far with the squad, sitting 10th in the standings at the season’s halfway point, a full 119 points behind team-mate and championship leader Jorge Lorenzo.

Spies has enjoyed a long relationship with Yamaha, having won the 2009 World Superbike Championship for the company before graduating to its Tech 3 satellite MotoGP outfit and eventually to the factory team.

Spies broke the news of his departure by sending an email to website Superbike Planet, which read in part:

“I have chosen to leave Yamaha after this season for a litany of reasons. I will explain more when I feel it is appropriate.

“I’m discussing my situation with my sponsors and they are behind me. There are a few people at Yamaha who I hate to leave. And they know who they are. I wish Yamaha the best. I won’t make any further comments until the official announcement comes out.”

Current Tech 3 rider Andrea Dovizioso is currently the favourite to take over Spies’ ride, while the future of the Texan remains unclear.

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