After discussions with the Italian Federation, in which Yamaha Motor Europe and KTM Sport Motorcycles were willing and fully open for negotiation regarding representation on the official Italian team jersey, we were disappointed to learn that 2008 MX1-GP World Champion Philippaerts and reigning MX1-GP World Champion Cairoli (presently 3rd and 1st in the 2010 standings respectively) were eliminated from the final short-list. We would like to clarify that both riders are available but the condition of the FMI that there will be no space allowed at all for the manufacturer or its sponsors on the front of jersey is not acceptable to both Yamaha and KTM. The FMI was only prepared to open two tiny spaces on the sleeve of each jersey and despite several efforts from Yamaha and KTM a compromise for a frontal space was not reached. Yamaha and KTM had already accepted for the FMI to decide the base colour and to add their own sponsors on the jersey, if not in conflict with existing team partners.
Discussions of this nature are not unusual for the Motocross of Nations with many riders, teams, brands and companies represented by the three best riders from each country around the globe coming together under one umbrella. For virtually all other teams a compromise as proposed by Yamaha and KTM is considered very much acceptable for all parties involved. Other countries allow the riders to use their regular GP clothing without or virtually without any modification.
Manufacturers and title sponsors/partners finance a whole season of international and national racing activities up to and including the Motocross of Nations; this includes staff, infrastructure, technical support and development, all at considerable cost. In our opinion visible manufacturer and sponsor branding is a necessary requirement to allow top athletes to continue to represent their teams and importantly shine and bring positive attention for their respective nationalities at the very highest level.
Yamaha and KTM sincerely regret that both riders will seemingly not be able to enter the Motocross of Nations for Italy in 2010, which we regard as a fantastic event for motocross followers all around the world and prestigious for all participants. Yamaha and KTM remain open to a solution so that fans of motocross and the Italian team in an era when the country is proving to be strong in the discipline will not be deprived.
Yamaha Motor Europe N.V. and KTM Sport Motorcycles