Hofmann was sacked after pulling out of the Portuguese Grand Prix, on September 16. The German, who had to start the race on his spare bike and from the pit lane, withdrew from last place with 17 of the 28 laps remaining and was quoted by the team as saying "I don't have the motivation to fight for the last positions."

Team owner Luis d'Antin warned that his team reserved the right to drop Hofmann for the remaining four rounds of the 2007 MotoGP season due to his Estoril withdraw - and Alex was officially sacked later that evening.

However, Hofmann - a d'Antin rider since the start of 2006 - has revealed that the reason given for his dismissal was actually 'poor performances throughout the season', a claim he bitterly denies.

"According to a recent press release issued by my team, my contract as a rider for Team Pramac D'Antin was terminated on the evening after the Portuguese Grand Prix, with immediate effect," said Alex. "I consider the termination of my contract unjustified, and I will fight this decision with all legal resources at my disposal.

"The written dismissal was not based on the race day events, but on my allegedly poor performance throughout the season.

"This performance was not as poor as to justify my dismissal. After all, I held eleventh position in the MotoGP World Championship rankings, only nine points behind my team-mate Alex Barros, before I was forced to take time out from racing due to an injury caused by another rider.

"My conduct during the race at Estoril also does not justify a dismissal. Because it was always my intention to devote all my efforts in the race to my team, I entered the race with an injury to my hand that had not properly healed. In the warm-up lap, I realised that there was a clutch problem on my number one bike. After changing to the spare bike that was not equipped with the race tyres I had chosen, I then faced a considerable time handicap through having to start from pit lane. Although the field had opened a gap of 11 second in the opening lap of the race, I made every effort to catch up. I was however forced to accept the unfortunate reality that it would be impossible to achieve this goal onboard the spare bike I was riding. Indeed my only hope of improving my position was that if other riders crashed or suffered technical difficulties.

"Bearing in mind these circumstances, I felt I could not take any more risks that might endanger the healing process of my injured hand. I therefore decided to retire from the race."

That explanation is somewhat different to the simple 'I couldn't be bothered' - which is how his 'lack of motivation' comment was widely interpreted - issued straight after the race. Indeed, many have suggested that Hofmann was exceptionally na?ve in mentioning anything that could have been interpreted in that way, since it was sure to result in some form of disciplinary action against him. In short, even if Hofmann felt that way, he shouldn't have said so.

Alex, a full-time MotoGP rider since 2004, appears to admit that it was a mistake to have said what he said - but is adamant he didn't deserve to be sacked for it.

"Disappointed and frustrated as I was at the time, I was not really able to properly express my feelings about what had happened immediately after the conclusion of the Portuguese Grand Prix. Considering that I have always made a point of proving my unconditional dedication to Team Pramac d'Antin during 2006 and 2007, I feel that it would have been sufficient to give me a warning," declared the 27-year-old.

"I would have accepted this course of action, but I will certainly not accept a dismissal without notice."

When Hofmann was injured at Laguna Seca, he was replaced for the remainder of the US GP weekend by Chaz Davies and, while Shinichi Ito was given Hofmann's ride for the Japanese Grand Prix, Davies has now been hired by d'Antin for the final three rounds of the season.

Nevertheless, Hofmann has asked to be reinstated alongside Barros from the upcoming Australian Grand Prix.

"My goal is to conclude the season for my team, and to start again for Team Pramac D'Antin as of the Australian Grand Prix on Phillip Island, October 12th thru 14th, 2007," he said. "I have forwarded this request in writing to my Italian and Dutch employers. I have called upon them to reinstate me as a MotoGP rider in the team, and to duly fulfil the conditions of the existing contracts."

Despite the request, it would be extremely surprising if Hofmann rides for d'Antin again.