Australian rider Anthony West has lost his ticket back to MotoGP, unable to round up sponsorship to secure his seat on the Speed Master CRT squad.
The post on West’s Facebook page states:
“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 anymore and will retune back to Australia to find a normal job. Sorry to my fans.”
The inability of riders to bring sponsorship funding has a number of 2012 campaigns in doubt. Colombian rider Yonny Hernandez reportedly faces similar issues and securing his Kawasaki/FTR CRT for BQR is in doubt. Italian rider Mattia Pasini found himself in the same boat at West and Hernandez, but has found a 2012 seat – the Speed Master CRT once reserved for West.
Italian media reports link Pasini to West’s Aprilia CRT mount. West confirms as much on his Facebook page. Responding to his fan’s comments on the Speed Master deal, Ant West explains that fast riders will not boycott the situation in protest because of fears they will lose their ride “because another will just come with the money and take it! Just like Mattia Pasini has done to me.”
UPDATE: On Saturday January 28th, the Speed Master team issued a press release confirming Pasini would compete on the team’s CRT entry in the 2012 MotoGP season.
The MotoGP paddock will get back to action with winter tests at Sepang next week.