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(Reuters) - American MotoGP rider Ben Spies will miss next week's Spanish Grand Prix due to injury, his Pramac Ducati team said on Wednesday.
The Tennessee-born former world superbike champion is expected to be replaced on the non-works bike by Ducati's Italian test rider Michele Pirro for the May 5 race at Jerez.
Pramac Racing said in a statement that Spies needed three consecutive weeks of intense rehabilitation to alleviate a strain in his pectorals and back muscles.
Spies injured his shoulder in a heavy fall in Malaysia last October and missed the last two races of 2012 as well as initial pre-season testing. He reported more pain in last weekend's race in Austin, Texas.
"I had a little problem with a nerve in my chest... I don't know if it's from overcompensating for my shoulder problem," he said after the race. "Two laps before the end of the warm-up, I had a twinge in my chest. It was like a knife."
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Pritha Sarkar)
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