Italian media are reporting this afternoon that discussions are underway between Ducati Corse--Ducati's race arm--and American Ben Spies which may see the former WSBK champion and GP winner not return to MotoGP in 2013. It is said that Spies' doctors have recommended that he not race again in 2013 because of shoulder injuries and also injuries to his hand/wrist suffered in his Indy crash.
Reportedly Ducati is evaluating this information with their own doctors.
Ducati MotoGP race boss Paolo Ciabatti told GPone.com "Obviously there is still no decision on this matter but yes we are talking about it. From the general point of view (that) it would be pointless to run a (rider) in (that) condition."
Ciabatti says a more pressing concern is who can ride in place of Spies, that Michele Pirro has a chiseled in stone schedule to be Ducati's test rider and he is unavailable to race many of the remaining MotoGP races.
Spies has a two year contract with Ducati.
Italian reports suggest that Ducati may be considering running just three factory bikes in 2014, a trio of Italian machines ridden by Cal Crutchlow, Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone. Meaning that Spies would be racing a different series, or a non-factory bike, presumably.