9 May 2015
Hero EBR Team co-ordinator blasts Pegram Racing
Claudio Quintarelli, former Hero EBR Team Coordinator, blasts breakdown in communication with Pegram Racing after the team's withdrawal from the series
The breakdown in relations between the two groups responsible for running Team Hero EBR's World Superbike effort has escalated to accusations of theft.
The outfit folded at the end of April with Erik Buell Racing having previously filed for receivership in the USA after a winter of internal reorganisation.
QB Racing, which ran the EBR racing effort during a challenging inaugural campaign in 2014, was then placed in charge of the logistical efforts for the new season.
Annelida Racing Incorporated, run by Larry Pegram, was brought in to manage racing affairs and the American made up one half of the team's 2015 rider line up, with Niccolo Canepa on the other side of the garage.
It was on Friday that QB Racing's Claudio Quintarelli, the former team coordinator of Team Hero EBR, released a statement blasting Pegram and his group for the way in which the matter was handled.
“I'm really disappointed, since after almost two years spent giving my contribution to the Erik Buell brand into the FIM Superbike World Championship, I saw my effort completely thrown to the wind, without even a thank you in the press release sent out by Pegram Racing,” he said.
“I suffered damage to both by image and personal material. After learning from the media about the failure of EBR, I continued to work, pushing hard as I always did, as I was told by Larry Pegram that, somehow we would have finished the season either with the support of our title sponsor Hero MotoCorp, or with the support of some American sponsors.”
He then went on to claim material belonging to QB Racing went missing in the aftermath of the split.
“Unfortunately, on April 28th, I had to face the fact that the material of EBR and part of my own personal material disappeared from my Racing Department in Verdello.
“When I asked about this incident, I was told by Pegram that the things belonging to EBR had been required by some US banks in charge of handling the failure of EBR, and that the material of my property had been taken away by mistake. A simple mistake.
“Since Larry Pegram was the man who spoke with these banks, I immediately asked Pegram how to get back my property. Sadly, I never received an official reply and from that day my American partners disappeared from any communication.”
Pegram Racing released an immediate response, which labeled Quintarelli's words 'false' and 'inflammatory'. The Italian's charge of theft was also forcefully denied.
“Pegram Racing was hired by EBR to turn around the dismal performances of the previous years team,” the statement read. “We did this and were accomplishing great things this season. All involved, including Mr. Quintarelli (travel, shipping, and hospitality), were doing a great job.
“Unfortunately EBR filed for bankruptcy and we all are now experiencing great loss. None more than the dedicated employees of EBR and Pegram Racing. Our concerns are with all who are now struggling from this including Pegram Racing crew and EBR staff.
“To try to make accusations or assess blame is useless as Pegram Racing would be racing this weekend and the remainder of the season if not for the bankruptcy of EBR. Pegram Racing would also like to say that only propriety of Pegram Racing and or property that they were responsible for was returned to the USA. Nothing of Mr. Quintarelli's was removed.”
The incident left lead rider Canepa scarpering for a ride at the eleventh hour and although able to find a seat with Grillini Kawasaki for the subsequent round at Imola, he remains unhappy at the lack of communication with the American side of the set up.
“I really don't know what to say,” explained Canepa. “I never imagined that my adventure with Erik Buell Racing could end this way. I knew it would be a year of development on the bike and great sacrifices, far from the top positions and with the only goal of developing the bike.
“I gave my best, as shown by my results. In the end, I found myself with no bike and no team, and without a minimum notice by my team. The only positive side of this experience was with QB Racing, a company that showed a really superlative professional attitude from beginning to end.”
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