The World Supersport field needed a boost. At just 18 riders, the grid of one of the cheapest classes in international motorcycle racing was looking pretty thin. And so the confirmation that Triumph's ParkinGO and BE1 Racing squads would be expanding their effort from 3 to 4 riders, news which we reported earlier this week, provides a welcome increase to the grid.
The manner in which it was achieved, however, was not so pretty. Triumph issued a statement today, announcing that American rider Jason DiSalvo would be joining Chaz Davies in the factory-backed ParkingGO Triumph team, while the Frenchman Sebastien Charpentier is to ride alongside David Salom in the ParkinGO Triumph BE1 Racing team. The statement (which is available on the official World Superbike website) contained the usual niceties and useful background information on the riders joining the team, and at the end, included a brief statement on the departure of Garry McCoy:
There will be no place in the line-up for Garry McCoy. The Australian had been expected to take his place alongside Davies but has left the team by mutual consent.
Commenting on his rider line-up for the 2010 season, BE1 Racing team owner Giuliano Rovelli said: "I'm very sorry that Garry McCoy and my Team didn't reach an agreement, and I thank him for his determination and expertise, and for the good results achieved in 2009. I do wish Garry all the best for his career in the next future."
On his own website, Garry McCoy denied that the decision to leave the team had anything to do with mutual consent. "I am absolutely shocked," the 37-year-old Australian wrote. He insisted he had been looking forward to reaping the rewards of the hard work of the past two years with Triumph, writing "This was going to be my third year with Triumph and amongst everything, it was going to be the greatest season for each and every person who has bet on Triumph's project."
The reports in the Italian press that the team had dropped McCoy over his financial demands were also dismissed by the King of Slide: "Despite the rumours that have been spread through various online sources about my economic requests, I invite whomever wants to get the correct information." We have taken McCoy up on that invitation and are awaiting a response from him.
Whatever McCoy's financial requests may have been, they are likely to have been modest. But any request for payment may have been beyond the means of the team to pay. A hint of the Triumph team's financial situation is given by Jason DiSalvo in an interview on Roadracing World. DiSalvo had previously balked at the offers of other teams, who had demanded that the AMA Superbike rider bring sponsorship if he wished to ride. No such dowry was required to join Triumph's World Supersport effort, however: "Then to have a factory team just say, 'we'd love to have you come ride,' it was totally awesome," DiSalvo told Roadracing World.
The situation may be DiSalvo's salvation, but it leaves McCoy in a difficult situation this late in the season and with so few rides available. "At this stage of the season the damage caused is incalculable and I am not talking about economic terms," McCoy wrote on his website. The Australian had been expecting to test this weekend at Portimao, but will instead be looking for a ride.