As expected by rumors flung around Europe, Ducati announced that American Ben Spies has signed with the satellite Pramac Ducati team for 2013. Spies will be teamed with Italian Moto2 star Andrea Iannone, who impressed during Ducati’s recent private three-day test at Mugello, turning times on the GP12 that were quicker than Valentino Rossi. The Pramac Ducati team will reportedly be supplied with bikes that will be close to factory spec, in contrast to the usual policy of customer machinery that is a step or two behind in development. This will form part of Ducati Corse’s efforts to speed up development in their quest to get the Desmosedici on pace to be competitive after the well-publicized struggles the past two seasons since Casey Stoner’s departure.
The following is the official statement from Ducati:
Ducati announces that it has signed an agreement with American Ben Spies and Italian Andrea Iannone to compete in the 2013 MotoGP World Championship.
Having already confirmed Nicky Hayden and announced Andrea Dovizioso for the Ducati Team, the Italian manufacturer now reaffirms its confidence in and commitment to the MotoGP World Championship, finalizing its lineup for next season with two riders who are fast and competitive, already protagonists in the MotoGP and Moto2 World Championships.
At the same time, the partnership has been renewed between Ducati and Pramac Racing, which will continue to be entrusted with management of the satellite team. The two riders, who have a direct link with the company, will be supplied with official equipment.
This agreement will enable additional important support in the development of the Desmosedici MotoGP project, offering a further opportunity in the process of improving the performance of the Italian bike.