Originally Posted by Kropotkin
There were no visual clues that the two bikes were any different. Lorenzo was clearly the lead rider, and got the new stuff maybe one race earlier. But basically, Lorenzo and Spies were on the same bike.
Spies was well aware of the media speculation that Rossi could make a return, but his decision was a general dissatisfaction with the way he was being treated by Yamaha. His set up was very different from the other Yamaha riders, and Yamaha were trying to get him to use something similar to Lorenzo, Crutchlow and Dovizioso, but he didn't want to do that. The last straw came at Mugello, where he raced with severe food poisoning and then skipped the test. While he was ill, a 'senior Japanese executive' came and told him that if he wasn't going to give 100%, he needn't bother turning up at Laguna. I suspect it was meant to motivate him, but all it did is make him decide announce he would leave Yamaha via social media.
That is exactly the way I read it. Yamaha leadership insulted him so he quit them. Of course it wasn't that much of a leap for him, knowing that Rossi was coming back in some way.
Ben has demonstrated himself to be a pretty strong character and supremely confident. Such an insult by a faceless management type was incredulous. I mean, it's not like Ben wasn't trying. Seemed like he crashed in at least one session every round he attempted,,, and sometimes twice!