"I feel sorry for everybody that had to work and ride for him. There is a reason why he is out of MotoGP finally" - that's Alex Hofmann personal opinion of his former MotoGP team manager Luis d'Antin.
Hofmann was sacked by d'Antin during the closing stages of the 2007 season, after pulling out of the Portuguese Grand Prix.
The German, who had to start the race on his spare bike and from the pit lane, withdrew from last place with 17 of the 28 laps remaining and was quoted by the team as saying "I don't have the motivation to fight for the last positions."
Luis d'Antin immediately warned that his team reserved the right to drop Hofmann for the remaining four rounds due to his withdraw - and Alex was officially sacked later that same evening.
But Hofmann - a d'Antin rider since the start of 2006 - refused to take the decision lying down, stating: "I consider the termination of my contract unjustified, and I will fight this decision with all legal resources at my disposal."
Hofmann also revealed that the official reason for his dismissal was listed as 'poor performance throughout the season', something he strongly denied. Hofmann had scored a career-best fifth place earlier in the year and was sitting just nine points behind team-mate Alex Barros when he was injured by Sylvain Guintoli during practice for round eleven at Laguna Seca.
A confidential settlement was subsequently reached, the outcome of which Hofmann appears happy with, although he concedes that his MotoGP career - which began with stand-in 500cc rides for Red Bull Yamaha and Honda Pons in 2002, progressed to a development role with Kawasaki in 2003 and then a full-time Team Green race seat for 2004 and 2005 - is now over.
Luis d'Antin's own MotoGP exit was just as sudden: On the eve of this July's German Grand Prix, a short statement from the Alice Team announced that the former grand prix racer had 'resigned' from his role as team manager. No further explanation was given.
d'Antin had run a premier-class grand prix team since 1999, initially with support from Yamaha, before becoming Ducati's satellite MotoGP outfit from 2004 onwards.
Norick Abe won a 500cc race for d'Antin in both 1999 and 2000, but at the time of d'Antin's departure the team's best finish with Desmosedicics was third place, courtesy of Ruben Xaus in 2004 and Barros in 2007. However, current rider Toni Elias has now taken two podium finishes (a second and third) at the last two rounds.