2013 MotoGP: Ben Spies Misses Barcelona, Pirro Replaces Him for Ducati Pramac

Bad news from the Ignite Pramac Ducati camp: as we feared, he will not ride at Barcelona, and the Ducati factory rider Michele Pirro will substitute for him in the Spanish race on June 16.
Ben Spies Misses Barcelona 4 photos
Ben SpiesBen Spies wth Andrea IannoneMichele Pirro
Spies was in Mugello last week, as the team thought his recovery progress would allow him to race, but after the first practice, both the American and his team learned that his shoulder was still far from the strength a MotoGP race needs. Spies'injury dates since 2012, after crashing at Sepang.

The very fast directional changes in Mugello's configuration proved to be too much for his shoulder and pectoral muscles, so it was only natural not to push things too far. Ducati's factory test rider Michele Pirro will substitute for Ben Spies in the Catalunya race, and he will ride his own "lab bike" instead of Spies' GP machine.

While the engine of the lab bike has the same dimensions as the official GP13, Spies' engine allocation in 2013 will remain untouched. At the same time it looks like Pirro will have to gather more hands-on data in racing conditions, to further improve the upcoming machinery.

And since Pirro is one of the key elements in developing the new Desmosedici, it make an awful lot of sense that Ducati wants him safe, on a bike he knows very well, doesn't it? We're looking forward to see Pirro and the Desmosedici at Barcelona, as he finished in a good 7th position at Mugello.
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