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Kenny Roberts Says KTM Breached MotoGP Commitment

Following on the heels of the somewhat low key announcement by KTM regarding discontinuation of their involvement in MotoGP with Team Roberts in this 2005 MotoGP series, Team Roberts has fired back with a strongly worded press release describing KTM’s action as a “breach” of commitments made to Team Roberts for the remainder of the 2005 MotoGP series. This press release by Team Roberts undoubtedly creates more public relations fall-out for KTM than it bargained for, and is potentially more costly to KTM than the money saved in its withdrawal from participation in the few remaining 2005 MotoGP races. Here is what Team Roberts has to say about this situation:

Simultaneously with the public on August 12th, KTM informed its partner, Team Roberts, through a press release that it is going to cancel all its activities in relation to the current racing season in the MotoGP series.

KTM thereby is in breach with its initial commitment to participate through Team Roberts in the 2005 racing season. In contrast to KTM’s recent press release, in which it sought to present itself merely as an engine supplier, the cooperation between KTM and Team Roberts was supposed to be a partnership on equal footage. KTM not only undertook to contribute the engines, electronics, tires and the costs for the team rider, but also committed to share the responsibility for the funding of the team’s budget for the racing season 2005. This budget was arrived at and agreed upon between KTM and Team Roberts representatives in early February.

There were no additional requests for funding by Team Roberts over and above the original agreed upon amounts, only requests for on-schedule payments that were never received.

Team Roberts has acted honourably and in good faith to fulfill the obligations that were agreed with KTM. Team Roberts would not begin a project such as this without funding in place to complete the obligations to Dorna and our other sponsors for the entire season.

Both parties were perfectly aware that a participation of Team Roberts in the 2005 racing season would not have been a viable option without KTM’s technical support and funding. In reliance on KTM’s commitment as a strong and equal team partner, Team Roberts decided to engage in the racing season 2005. At first, KTM effectively announced its cooperation and “the agreement reached” with Team Roberts. In fact, KTM also put considerable effort in this cooperation with Team Roberts in the current racing season. However, contrary to the other rac-ing series, in which KTM participates, the expected success in the MotoGP series did not materialize.

Against this background and due to internal strategic business decisions and alternative allocation of resources as announced by KTM in its recent press release, KTM decided to pull out of the cooperation with Team Roberts in the middle of the current racing season and to disregard its commitments with Team Roberts.

As KTM has not only failed to deliver competitive engines in the current racing season, they have also failed to live up to their funding responsibilities and choose to breach their commitment to supply engines, electronics, tires and a rider to Team Roberts 2005 MotoGP efforts.

As we celebrate our 20th season of participation in motorcycle racings’ premier category, Team Roberts will continue to assist in the professionalism and development of our sport. We are passionate about MotoGP and although our success during the past few years has been mixed and our views not always agreed, we have tried to succeed in a way which we believe may benefit the sport in the future, and we have committed 110% to our goals.

Obviously the departure of KTM creates severe problems for us and we will address the situation with our best efforts to continue in the championship.

We would like to thank all of our fans and motorcycle industry colleauges who have expressed support to us and encourage our continued participation. We also want to thank our suppliers and colleagues, who have been extremely patient in light of our current circumstances.

See you in Brno!