Kiefer Racing has withdrawn from its move into the World Supersport championship despite crowdfunding efforts to support the team, with the German outfit assessing a switch to the Moto2 European championship for 2020.

The two-time world championship-winning outfit had targeted a fresh start in World Supersport this year after withdrawing from Moto2.

But in a statement released by the team earlier this month, Jochen Kiefer sent out an urgent plea looking for sponsorship and funding to support the team in the World Supersport championship as he prepared to enter the series with Thomas Gradinger and Lukas Tulovic on Yamaha YZF-R6 bikes.

Despite a subsequent support rush, Kiefer Racing has confirmed it has withdrawn from the World Supersport championship “before we end up in a never-ending hole”. After months of trying to secure a sufficient racing budget for 2020, the German team has pulled the plug one month until the start of the season.

“We do not feel comfortable in our skin and it is also very difficult for us to have to make this announcement. From a business perspective, it would have been much too risky if we had started the season. Therefore, we have to cancel our participation in the 2020 World Supersport series before we end up in a never-ending hole,” Kiefer said in a team statement.

“We are terribly sorry for everyone involved. First and foremost, of course, for Thomas and Lukas.

“We really have left no stone unturned in the past weeks and months to find the necessary budget. At this point, we would like to thank all these many private individuals and all the companies who have contributed to our campaign with their own amounts, while some companies spontaneously agreed to provide further support.

“We have been thinking for a long time about how a meaningful implementation of this action through the platforms could look like. The reactions and the incredibly large number of participants came as a surprise in every respect. This was really very poignant for us and it further motivated us in these difficult times. Nevertheless, unfortunately we did not succeed in securing the season. As announced, we will therefore use the proceeds from this campaign to offer both riders the best possible alternative.”

Kiefer Racing is now planning to move into the CEV Moto2 European championship with Tulovic, while Gradinger is aiming to stay in the World Supersport championship. The team has confirmed Gradinger will receive his share of the fundraising efforts to support his future racing efforts.

The German team left the Moto2 grid at the end of 2019 following a tough campaign with rookie Tulovic on KTM machinery, as the team secured just one points finish (13th at Assen) all season.

The team was rocked by the death of team boss Stefan Kiefer, brother of current team principal Jochen, in October 2017 on the eve of the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Kiefer Racing won the 2011 Moto2 world title with Stefan Bradl, before running under the title sponsor of Leopard Racing on its way to securing the 2015 Moto3 world crown with Danny Kent.



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