In the world of 125 and 250 racing, there is one team that is the nearest thing to a guarantee of a world title on offer: The Aspar team, run by Jorge Martinez. Hungarian veteran Gabor Talmacsi has been with Aspar since 2007, and has reaped the rewards, taking the 125cc world championship for the team in 2007.
So it must considered a truly remarkable step that the Hungarian has decided to sever his relationship with the team that helped win him the title. In a statement on his personal website, Gabor Talmacsi announced that has split from the team, and that he won't be riding at Le Mans. Talmacsi also explained the reasons for the split:
- The main reason is that Talmacsi currently only has one bike, despite assurances that he would be getting a second bike. Before the season started, Martinez told Talmacsi that he could only afford a single bike for the Hungarian due to financial constraints, but if Talmacsi could find more sponsorship money, they get him a second bike as a backup. Talmacsi turned to his sponsors - Grupo Milton, Logistics Land - for more cash, which they put forward. After paying Martinez, the agreement was that Talmacsi would have a second bike from Jerez, but as the bike didn't appear in Spain, and wouldn't be appearing in France, Talmacsi felt he had no option but to withdraw.
- This problem came on top of a dispute over media rights. Aspar altered the agreement over media rights for Talmacsi unilaterally, without first obtaining consent from the Hungarian's management. Talmasci and his management believe that this constitutes a breach of his contract, and despite attempts to get the decision reversed, Aspar refuses to do so.
- Aspar then issued their usual pre-race press release, stating that Talmacsi would be racing at Le Mans. Talmacsi states that Aspar already knew that he would not be racing at Le Mans, and that he did not give the quotes reported in the press release.
At this moment, Talmacsi is still in Hungary, while negotiations are continuing between his management and the Aspar team. Talmacsi is due to give a press conference in Budapest on Friday morning to further clarify the situation. The disagreement will have to be resolved very quickly, however, if Talmacsi is to race in Le Mans.
Thanks to Ádám Haraszti for the tip.