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Guintoli splits with Liberty Ducati
19 July 2012
Sylvain Guintoli has been left without a ride on the eve of the ninth World Superbike Championship round at Brno after it was revealed Liberty Racing could not supply him with a bike.
The Frenchman, who won a race earlier this season at Assen, has been Liberty Racing's most successful rider since it joined the WSBK fray at the start of 2011, Guintoli having now notched up six podiums with the Czech-based team.
However, ahead of Liberty Racing's home event at Brno, Guintoli took to his
account to release a statement that claimed there is no bike available for him to ride this weekend. This, coupled to other contractual misdemeanours, means Guintoli has decided to leave the team with immediate effect.
“Liberty CZ Group had contracted to have Sylvain Guintoli ride for them with the Superbike World Championship 2012,” the statement read. “Liberty have confirmed they are unable to provide a bike for Sylvain Guintoli to race at Brno and potentially in the future.
“Due to this and a failure of Liberty to fulfil other key aspects of the contract, there has been no option but for Sylvain to accept that the contract has to be terminated and notice has formally been given to Liberty that the contract is terminated immediately.
“Sylvain Guintoli, who had fulfilled all of his obligations is disappointed with Liberty's difficulties and their inability to provide a bike for him at Brno but is now free to take up other rides with immediate effect."
Following his first and Liberty Ducati's first-ever WSBK victory at Assen, Guintoli drops out of a championship from eighth position in the overall standings.
Notably, Guintoli's statement makes no mention of title sponsor Effenbert, which could signal an on-going fall-out from the team's extraordinary outburst following the cancellation of the Monza event in May and the subsequent claims that the sponsor may halt its involvement in the series.
Further to Guintoli's announcement, rumours from the Brno paddock have cast doubt on whether Liberty Racing will participate at all in their home race this weekend. Jakub Smrz and Maxime Berger are Liberty Racing's other riders, while Brett McCormick said as recently as last week that he anticipates returning to action at Silverstone.
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