Spies says he's leaving Yamaha
BEN SPIES: He'll be quitting the works Yamaha team at the end of 2012..
Author: Alan Baldwin
American MotoGP rider Ben Spies has announced he will leave the Yamaha works team at the end of the 2012 season.
That will leave a vacancy alongside championship-leading Spaniard Jorge Lorenzo.
Spies sent a link from his Twitter account (@benspies11) to a story on the Superbike Planet website which quoted him saying via email that he had chosen to leave "for a litany of reasons".
"I will explain more when I feel it is appropriate," he added. "I'm discussing my situation with my sponsors and they are behind me."
Spies, preparing for this weekend's 2012 US MotoGP at Laguna Seca in California, added in a separate message that 2013 would start a new chapter.
The Tennessee rider, a former World Superbike champion, is in his second season at the works Yamaha team but has been outshone by Italian Andrea Dovizioso and Britain's Cal Crutchlow of the non-factory Tech3 Yamaha team.
While Lorenzo leads the standings with 185 points, Spies is 10th on 66.