Oh, the stories we could just not let slip past. Remember the AMA’s multi-million dollar mystery payment that they refused to identify? Or the AMA President Rob Dingmann getting a raise every damn year even though the AMA has run through almost all of its cash reserves? Why can’t we just smile and nod like everyone else, get a fat PR contract and go feet up in the off-season, instead of selling t-shirts in order to survive?
Onward: Ben Spies apparently rode a motorcycle. This is known because Cycle World did a big story on his return. The story was written by Matt Miles.
Cycle World/Bonnier are an official marketing partner of the MotoAmerica series. Miles is or was the social media manager for the MotoAmerica series.
Spies’ reputed comeback is with the MotoAmerica series in a new team with help from Bonnier, which owns Cycle World.
Does this all pass a Phil Schilling smell test? You be the judge.
Hey, maybe it’s just us but before a team is formed and Spies is signed to ride for this new team, perhaps these are some issues that should be addressed:
Ben Spies retired from MotoGP racing because of injury. Ben Spies could no longer race a motorcycle, and this was supported by his then doctor. Spies underwent major shoulder reconstruction which included having tendons from a dead human used to replace his damaged tendons. Spies’ shoulder was so damaged from racing that once when we called him after he retired to see if he was going to make a comeback that when he answered the phone he blew his shoulder out just picking up the phone. This was AFTER he had successful surgery.
Maybe he covered this at his wedding but we were not invited–and would see it as a giant red flag if we were–but has Spies’ doctor or any current doctor cleared him to roadrace a motorcycle again? Are they certain that the shoulder is up to racing–and crashing–a motorcycle?
Also, the year is now 2017. The medical world and the general sporting world are much more aware of head injuries and how they can have a long term detrimental effect on an athlete. Concussions are now classified as a MTBI, mild traumatic brain injury. Spies’ concussions happened years ago but one was severe enough for the factory Yamaha MotoGP team to pull him off the bike at Sepang in 2011. Reportedly Spies did not know where he was after a practice session. Yamaha issued a press release on this very incident. And when he crashed out of the Indy GP there were mutterings that Spies had forgotten how to enable the traction control on his Pramac Ducati MotoGP bike. Spies never rode a MotoGP bike after that.
I’m glad that Ben Spies’ health has returned to a level where he can consider a comeback in racing. I’m sure that this push isn’t some giant orchestrated effort by Cycle World to put Spies on a roadrace motorcycle even if he hasn’t passed a medical exam. However, it would be nice for the next “Spies insider” story to be one of him getting his shoulder cleared to race, or having a neurological examination if one is warranted.