A statement on Anthony West's official Facebook page says that the Australian will not be able to take up his place with the Speed Master MotoGP team due to a lack of funds.

West adds that his racing career is probably now over.

The full statement reads: "I (ANTHONY WEST) will not race in moto gp this year or any other race because I can not find sponsorship to pay the SPEED MASTER team, Because all teams are asking for money from the riders only the rich can race in motogp / moto2 / moto3, I can not even afford to ride a year for free, As i have YET to be payed from my former team MZ Germany Moto2 team. I had my car mx bike and my house for sale trying to keep the ride and even gave the house as a guarantee if I did not find the money but was not enough. I will most likely not race any more and will [return] to australia to find a normal job. Sorry to my fans."

The 30-year-old former factory Kawasaki MotoGP rider, a race winner in 250GP and WSS, has spent the last two seasons racing in Moto2 for MZ.

West's best Moto2 finish was a fourth place (from 20th on the grid) at last year's damp Assen round, scene of his grand prix win in 2003.

Speed Master, which won three Moto2 races with Andrea Iannone last year, had planned to run West on an ART (Aprilia) under the new CRT rules. Iannone plans to stay with Speed Master in Moto2.

West, who also rode a partial 500cc season on a privateer Honda in 2001, achieved a best MotoGP finish of fifth, during his full (2008) season with Kawasaki.

Should Speed Master not make the grid, the 2012 MotoGP line-up would be reduced to 20 bikes (12 manufacturer and 8 CRT)... Or perhaps 19, with BQR's Yonny Hernandez facing similar critical funding problems to West.

UPDATE: Speed Master has announced that Mattia Pasini will race for the team in the 2012 MotoGP World Championship.