Michael Bartholemy has issued a statement confirming that his contract as team principal of Marc VDS was terminated on Tuesday.

The was despite an earlier statement in which Bartholemy 'interpreted' van der Straten's cancellation of a planned meeting to resolve their dispute as meaning 'all such allegations are off the table'.

The latest statement adds that the questionable payments presented by van der Straten only amounted to 24,000 Euros - rather than the 10-15 million some had speculated - which were 'explained immediately'.

As such, Bartholemy claims there are no legal grounds for his termination and that 'the actions of Mr. Marc van der Straten are both unreasonable and unacceptable'.

Bartholemy, who is present at Le Mans, says that he has stepped back from the team to avoid escalation, but warned that failure to reach an amicable settlement will result in 'a court of law to decide the outcome of this conflict'.

Today's statement was issued by Bartholemy's MM Performance & Racing AG company, based in Switzerland - under which some of the Marc VDS team contracts are thought to have been signed, meaning a potential legal complication over who owns what.

Bartholemy, previously competition manager for the Kawasaki MotoGP squad, has run the Marc VDS team since its Moto2 debut in 2010.

Gianluca Montiron, formerly a MotoGP and Moto2 team manager for JiR, is understood to have been hired by van der Straten to replace Bartholemy.

The full statement can be seen below:

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'On Tuesday 15th May I was notified by Mr. Marc van der Straten's lawyers that the contract that exists between us was terminated with immediate effect.

'This notification came after allegations were made against me during the Spanish Grand Prix weekend in Jerez. These allegations mentioned various amounts, ranging from 10 million to 15 million Euros.

'At the end were only required by Mr. van der Straten to explain invoices totalling less than 24.000 Euros, which we did immediately, providing full details of each payment.

'Therefore there were no legal grounds for termination and I objected to this unilateral termination immediately.

'What is clear is that, given the actual legal situation, the actions of Mr. Marc van der Straten are both unreasonable and unacceptable.

'Despite this we have been open to finding an agreement with Mr. Marc van der Straten that would allow us to end the collaboration between us amicably.

'We have put forward a number of options for a resolution, all of which were rejected by Mr. van der Straten. At no point have we received any serious indication from Mr. van der Straten as to how this conflict can be resolved.

'As a result the conflict was threatening to escalate significantly.

'For this reason I have made the decision to step back from the team for the duration of the French Grand Prix weekend in Le Mans.

'Rather than exercise my right to halt racing activities this weekend, which is well within my power to do because of the legal situation, I decided instead on a more rational approach. To escalate the situation further would have damaged not just the team, the sponsors and the riders, but also the image of the championship and this I did not want to do.

'I hope that deescalating the conflict in this way will provide the impetus for finding a resolution that is acceptable to both parties.

'If this is not possible and we are have to rely on a court of law to decide the outcome of this conflict then I am confident that I will be exonerated.

'Michael Bartholemy

MM Performance & Racing AG

May 19, 2018'

 

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