Effenbert Liberty Ducati's participation in the World Superbike Championship has been called into question after it was omitted from the provisional entry list for the series' maiden foray to Russia.
The Czech-based team, currently competing in its second season of WSBK racing, has been at the centre of controversy this season, most notably its startling backlash against organisers for their handling of the cancelled Monza races and the acrimonious split with its leading rider Sylvain Guintoli last month.
Now it appears Effenbert Liberty won't be present at all for the inaugural event at the Moscow Raceway having been left off the provisional entry list published by Infront. There was no response from the team when contacted.
Though no obvious reason has been given for the absence, not least whether the team has withdrawn from the series entirely or is simply skipping the Russian round, it would have the detrimental effect of removing three bikes from the grid.
Furthermore, if the entry list is confirmed, Effenbert Liberty won't be the only team missing from the Moscow start line as Grillini Progea BMW has also not been included. The Italian team, which has had four different riders this season, has struggled towards the back of the grid in 2012 and received a further blow at Silverstone when its current competitor Norino Brignola suffered a broken collarbone.
As such, the provisional entry list currently suggests just 20 riders will make the grid when action gets underway next weekend, though this may be subject to change.
In other developments, Leandro Mercado – who moved back to the Superstock 1000 class at Silverstone - will return to his Pedercini Kawasaki Superbike for one event since there will be no SSTK action in Moscow.