Bartholemy removed from Marc VDS team boss role
Marc VDS MotoGP team manager Michael Bartholemy has revealed his contract has been terminated by team owner Marc van der Straten ahead of the French Grand Prix at Le Mans.
Bartholemy released a statement on Saturday, detailing his termination and alleging that “the actions of Mr. Marc van der Straten are both unreasonable and unacceptable”.
The situation at Marc VDS, amid uncertainty over which bikes the outfit will field in MotoGP going forward, has been unfolding over the recent weeks, and the team was even forced into making a statement over its longer-term premier class future.
As recently as Monday, Bartholemy - who stands accused of mismanaging the team's resources - issued a communication insisting that his role as team boss was secure.
But the former Kawasaki boss was apparently notified of his termination the day after, and has now elected to step down from his role “for the duration of the French Grand Prix weekend in Le Mans”.
A press conference had been scheduled by Marc VDS on Thursday at Le Mans, but was cancelled.
The most recent statement from Bartholemy alleges that van der Straten had “no legal grounds for termination”, and Bartholemy has stated he would look to contest the decision legally if no mutually satisfactory resolution could be achieved.
“We have put forward a number of options for a resolution, all of which were rejected by Mr. van der Straten,” the statement read. “At no point have we received any serious indication from Mr. van der Straten as to how this conflict can be resolved.
“As a result the conflict was threatening to escalate significantly.
“Rather than exercise my right to halt racing activities this weekend, which is well within my power to do because of the legal situation, I decided instead on a more rational approach.
“To escalate the situation further would have damaged not just the team, the sponsors and the riders, but also the image of the championship and this I did not want to do.
“I hope that deescalating the conflict in this way will provide the impetus for finding a resolution that is acceptable to both parties.
“If this is not possible and we have to rely on a court of law to decide the outcome of this conflict, then I am confident that I will be exonerated.”
Marc VDS runs Honda bikes for Franco Morbidelli and Tom Luthi in MotoGP, and also fields rising stars Alex Marquez and Joan Mir in Moto2 on Kalex machines.
It has been reported that former JiR boss Luca Montiron has taken over from Bartholemy as Marc VDS team boss in the meantime.
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