Ioda Racing director Giampiero Sacchi has responded to claims by Eskil Suter that the 2013 machines of Danilo Petrucci and Lukas Pesek were seized as a result of unpaid bills.
The Italian team is currently testing in Qatar for the first time this season after missing six days of testing at the two Sepang tests in Malaysia in February.
Danilo Petrucci is currently the team's sole representative, with British competitor Leon Camier currently without a ride as Ioda Racing is currently unable to commit to running a second rider.
In comments made to Speedweek.com
, Suter claims that Ioda Racing has a number of unpaid bills outstanding as a result of their association in 2013.
“In theory, we should have taken the Moto2 back as well, but then [Randy] Krummenacher couldn't race so, just because of him, we turned a blind eye,” Suter said, adding that the Swiss rider won't receive the new model this season and will be provided with the 2013 machine raced by Johann Zarco.
“Giampiero Sacchi told us not to worry about the money, and that he would settle everything, but after the experience we had with Forward – with whom we had to fight a year and a half – we didn't want to take other risks. You can understand what is the level of this championship when you see that the teams don't pay for their bills,” Suter added.
“The truth is that there are three official teams and, behind them, only the chaos.”
In a statement issued on Saturday night, Ioda Racing director Sacchi gave the following response: “I'm sorry to be [a] witness of statements so heavy - and more false - issued by a professional with whom we have worked very well last season, and to which we have procured visibility and revenue that otherwise he would [only] have dreamed [of].
“It was agreed for the return of some MotoGP bikes and for the delivery of other materials, all for a value far greater than Ioda Racing were required to pay for the balance of the 2013 season.
“Probably, on balance [it] could be Suter that have to pay us! Given the claims of the past few days regarding our financial position, [which is] difficult but not dramatic – we are here at Losail test - contrary to my nature I have already been forced to give a mandate to the Ioda Racing Lawyer Carlo Moroni to act against [the comments made by] Suter.
“[I do not understand who can benefit from] this smear campaign, I can only say that this is creating serious problems with the sponsors and [we] will not hesitate to act against all those who have started and continue to feed this campaign.”