Crash.Net WSBK News
Liberty changes view, criticises Guintoli
19 July 2012
Liberty Racing has launched a startling attack on outgoing rider Sylvain Guintoli just hours after suggesting the Frenchman's departure from the team was merely due to disagreements between his technical team and management.
Guintoli himself confirmed he would depart the Liberty Racing team after one and a half seasons on the eve of the Brno World Superbike round, prompting the team to release a statement providing context to the claim that the Frenchman had been left without a bike due to problems with his technical team.
However, Liberty Racing has now released an amended – and somewhat controversial - statement with an entirely different opinion, suggesting Guintoli's results hadn't been good enough to justify title sponsor Effenbert's investment.
This is despite Guintoli currently being classified eighth in the standings after scoring Liberty Racing's first win and pole position this year. By contrast, team-mates Jakub Smrz and Maxime Berger are 11th and 15th in the standings.
The full statement from the team reads:
“The Liberty Racing Team, considering what happened in the last hours, wishes to clarify its position and the factors that influenced the events that led to the end of the collaboration with the rider Sylvain Guintoli:
“First of all, the poor results achieved by the rider, for sure inappropriate in relation to the massive investments, technical equipment and human efforts offered to him, and the relative lack of media return to the main sponsor, created a subsequent reduction of investments by the same sponsor as already shown in the past;
“For Liberty CZ Group is very important to rationalise the costs in order to defend the continuity of the team's life, considering also the temporary period of global crisis, which has raised the alert level of the company in the recent past;
“The technical staff decided to take a tough stance in this moment of nervous strain created by misunderstandings with the administrative direction of the group;
“Detection of superficiality and lightness in the management of the internal team problems, with unnecessary use of media gossip, this is a not professional behavior, that damaged the trust relationship built into several months of collaboration;
“The team will still give space and continuity to the young riders, a company policy much more in line with the development of the Effenbert brand.
“The Liberty Racing Team, like clear expressed before, shows his regret for what happened, according to the choice made by the rider and the technical staff, confirms its will to continue in the future with the constructive purpose that has always distinguished the Liberty Racing Team.
“The team would like to make its best wishes to Sylvain Guintoli and all technical staff for their respective careers.”
Having made its WSBK debut in 2011, Liberty Racing has been mired in controversy in 2012, most notably its outburst towards series organisers Infront for their conduct during the truncated Monza race weekend, an furore that is believed to have prompted Effenbert to scale back its support.