Ben Spies won’t make his 2018 Kenda AMA National Enduro Championship Series debut next month as planned. The MotoGP race winner crashed last week while riding off-road in Texas and suffered a number of injuries, including several broken bones and a collapsed lung. Spies spent three nights in a Dallas-area hospital and has since undergone a series of tests to determine if surgery is necessary.
“I sunk into the face of a jump and knew right away I was hosed,” Spies said after he was released from the hospital this past Saturday. “Problem was, it wasn’t enough to jump and bail. I had to go over the bars, and it was pretty ugly: Two broken ribs, one non-displaced fracture in my collarbone, and I broke my scapula all the way across with three additional smaller fractures. I’m bummed, man.”
Spies was known as “Elbowz” during his racing days for his aggressive, elbows-out riding style, but shoulder injuries compelled the now 33-year-old Texan to retire four years ago after winning three consecutive AMA Superbike championships, the 2009 World Superbike title, and one MotoGP race. This year, in addition to the nine-round enduro series, Spies was aiming to hit several stops on the Kenda Full Gas Sprint Enduro calendar.
Those plans are now on hold while specialists determine the extent of Spies’ injuries. “I think my actual shoulder—it’s my ‘good’ shoulder—is fine,” he said, “but it’s hard to tell with the amount of pain I’m feeling.” Spies shared a video that showed a tube being removed from his lung. “That was a lot of pain,” he admitted, “because the tube went between the two broken ribs. The nurse said she was going to yank it out. I told her she definitely kept her word.”