Ben Spies to leave Yamaha MotoGP

Spies announces he will be giving up his seat at Yamaha at the end of the season

IN a surprise bombshell Ben Spies has revealed that he will be leaving Yamaha at the end of the season.

The American has struggled in his second year in the factory team and his third season in MotoGP, with a best finish of fourth so far. A pale comparison to last year where he scored his first win at Assen and three podium positions.

In an email to, Spies wrote: "Yesterday I made a comment on Twitter to cause a stir. (Today) I'll be more in saying that 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."

He added on Twitter: "I'm extremely happy to push for the rest of the season to my fans and myself next year starts a new chapter. And yes I'm pumped!"

With Spies' departure from the factory team it leaves Yamaha with one less rider to decide between, the top candidates to join Jorge Lorenzo have been Cal Crutchlow, Andrea Dovizioso and Valentino Rossi.

Where Spies will end up next year is still to be established, but there have been rumours that the 2009 World Superbike champion is looking for a return to that series, possibly on a BMW...