The Stiggy Racing Honda team has confirmed that it is to close its doors due to financial difficulties, resulting in its immediate withdrawal from both the World Superbike Championship (WSBK) and World Supersport Championship (WSS) following five years of competition.
Stiggy Honda began life back in 2005 in WSS – founded by former Grand Prix rider Johan 'Stiggy' Stigefelt, hence the catchy name – and has since waged a David vs Goliath type battle as an independent entry up against a plethora of manufacturer-backed rivals.
This year Leon Haslam took the honours for top WSBK privateer in finishing an excellent sixth for the team with four rostrum finishes along the way, as the Swedish outfit claimed fifth spot in the final teams' title chase, at the end of its maiden – and, it now sadly transpires, only – campaign in the championship.
'The Stiggy Racing Honda team has over its five years of participation been very successful, but nevertheless found itself put in a difficult economic situation and has been forced to withdraw from the World Superbike and World Supersport championships in 2010,' read an official team statement.
'The decision has been made after a close evaluation of the team's poor economic situation, which was created during this year's expanded venture by participating in both championship classes, a huge financial project that was poorly executed by the team's investors as a result of failing to fulfil their financial commitments for the 2009 season.
'The Stiggy Racing Honda team has since its beginning shown great potential, starting up in 2005 in the Supersport class, slowly building its ground in the championship and year-by-year advancing to finally set a solid mark as a top contender. The team managed its best result in 2008 by finishing third in the Supersport championship with Joshua Brookes.
'Being a private team in a championship like Superbike – consisting of seven factory teams – means not only stiff competition on-track but also an immediate financial weakness, making it very difficult to survive without solid financial back-up and support.
'Despite financial disadvantages, the team has been able to achieve incredible performances in its Superbike rookie year, debuting the season with a third-place podium finish and repeating another three podium places during the season including eleven top five finishes – giving Leon Haslam the title of best privateer rider in sixth place in the championship. The team ended the year as the fifth-best ranked team in both SSP and SBK classes in 2009.
'[This was] a magnificent result by everyone involved with the Stiggy Racing Honda team since its beginning – an achievement to be proud of and one that allows it to finish its career with heads held high.'