Alstare Suzuki’s team owner Francis Batta is not only disappointed, but he’s also fighting mad and has made a not so unveiled threat to drop Suzuki for another manufacturer, if the Japanese company doesn’t decide to help fund and support his World Superbike team.
Take note that this isn’t the usual web gossip, but the words came directly from the Belgium manager during a recent interview with Italian satellite channel Nuvolari.
Batta’s Alstare team goes back a long way with Suzuki, they’ve won six world championships using the Suzuki branded bike: in World Superbikes in 2005 with Troy Corser, three Supersport championships with Fabrizio Pirovano in 1996 and 1998, in 1999 with Stéphane Chambon and two Superstock 1000 titles in 2002 with Vittorio Iannuzzo and Michel Fabrizio in 2003.
The first sign of problems between the Belgium team and the Japanese manufacturer appeared at the beginning of this 2010 season, when Batta decided not to field any of his bikes in the FIM Superstock 1000 championship, but prefering to help Team 06 and Davide Giugliano only on the technical side, and this was due to the financial crisis and the lack of sponsors.
The same motive may be behind Batta’s outburst after the Monza round, stating that he needs the Hamamatsu company to help back his team financially and that Suzuki should stop throwing away millions in MotoGP and start supporting WSBK’s in a more serious way.
Leon Haslam after yesterday’s round at Miller is second in the standings and just 15 points behind Max Biaggi, while Loris Capirossi and Alvaro Bautista are riding around at the back of the field and that gives a Batta a good enough reason to complain about funding priorities.
We have no idea if Batta is seriously thinking of leaving Suzuki, but his lament may be the first warning shot to shake the Japanese managers out of their total indifference towards the Belgium manager’s highly experienced team.
Source | motoblog