The new Grupo Francisco Hernando team has withdrawn from the MotoGP World Championship after just eight rounds of the 2009 season.
The outfit was run by Gelete and Pablo Nieto, sons of '12+1' world champion Angel, and had been promoted from the 125cc class into MotoGP to run Sete Gibernau on satellite Ducati machinery.
The sudden withdraw was unsurprisingly due to financial problems caused by the 'current economic climate', which has prompted Grupo Francisco Hernando - heavily involved in the construction industry - 'to focus their investment on their projects as promoters and constructors.'
Gibernau, a former double MotoGP World Championship runner-up, was himself returning to action after two years in retirement.
The 36-year-old Spaniard broke his collarbone during practice for round four at Le Mans, also forcing the team to miss the following Mugello round, and had been unable to break the top ten in either qualifying or racing during the six events he contested.
"I am the most surprised at this decision,” claimed Sete. “Everybody in the team has fought to go forward with this project.
"On a personal level it was a big gamble, but the project was reaching higher and higher goals with the passing of each race.
"It is a shame that, just as we were getting close to picking up the results that we were after, we have had to pull out.”
Gibernau, who sits 17th out of 18 in the riders' world championship, is yet to announce his future plans.
The demise of Grupo Francisco Hernando means the premier-class field will contain just 17 riders at this weekend's German Grand Prix.
Gibernau claimed one of his most memorable victories in the 2003 Sachsenring race, overtaking Valentino Rossi for victory at the final turn.