Clive Padgett has revealed that his eponymous team's place on the 2013 MCE British Superbike Championship grid will be dependent on whether he can source the necessary funding to compete.
One of British motorcycling's most historic names, Padgett's Racing made a welcome return to BSB competition in 2012, but while its campaign began brightly with a popular win for Ian Lowry at Thruxton, the successes would tail off towards the end of the year.
Looking ahead to 2013, Padgett says his bikes are ready for the new season, but pressures in the retail motorcycling industry means he cannot proceed without firm backing from another source.
“The bikes are ready, the infrastructure is ready and we are ready,” he told the official British Superbike website. “Racing motorcycles is what we live for, but we have to be cautious as the bike retail business can't fully underwrite a race team. Our record speaks for itself, we are proven winners and we want someone to share that success."
In an effort to secure Padgett's place on the grid, BSB Series Director Stuart Higgs says has stepped in to pursue leads for their benefit.
"A grid without the Padgett's rainbow livery is a bit like a Formula 1 entry without a team like Williams. Their pedigree and Clive's (Padgett) passion is unrivalled. Last year working with Clive sourcing riders I was amazed at the level of detail that he drills into, it made a job interview with Alan Sugar on The Apprentice seem like a stroll in the park.
“We are pursuing leads for them as it's a project we really believe in. Their sporting success over so many years makes it such a good partnership proposition and we are working hard to help them secure their place on the grid."
British Superbikes is already missing three notable names from its grid in 2013 following the announcements that Team WFR has disbanded, MSS Performance is taking a sabbatical and Supersonic Racing will compete in Italy.
However, 22 riders have been confirmed to the 32-strong grid for 2013 already, with Halsall Racing making its debut with Lee Costello this year, while Martin Jessopp's RidersMotorcycles.com outfit returns to British competition after a year in the World Supersport Championship.