The Liberty Racing team has today announced they will be withdrawing from the World Superbike championship. The announcement is hardly a surprise: the Liberty team announced their withdrawal last year after the Silverstone round, missing the final four rounds of the series. The team had not fared much better in 2013, making a late start and missing the first round of the championship in Phillip Island. Now, after just three races, they have pulled out once again.
The withdrawal of the Liberty Racing team leaves Mark Aitchison without a ride for the rest of the season, after the Australian agreed a late deal to ride for the team. It also leaves the World Superbike field looking very sparse, with just 18 full-time entries left on the grid. The World Superbike grid weathered the first storms of the global financial crisis relatively well, due to lower costs of competition, but poor TV coverage of the series for the past few seasons has seen numbers dropping season by season, with the 18-bike grid the result. Dorna and the MSMA hope that the new rules discussed recentlly, limiting the cost of a bike to 300,000 euros per rider per season, will help make the series more affordable, and help swell numbers on the grid.
Below is the official press release issued by Liberty Racing on their withdrawal:
The LIBERTY RACING TEAM EFFENBERT thanks Dorna WSBK Organization Srl that allowed to the team to be present at the start to the 2013 season, and try to recover the substantial value of the investment in marketing and promotional activities carried out in the Superbike World Championship from 2008 until today , first in sponsorships and then with direct participation.
Whereas, as noted, the main goal of our team is the use of racing according to the parameters necessary for the promotion of the brand of our main sponsor and our other partners, we have found, on our opinion, some difficulties during these races in pursuing this targets.
Anyway, we believe that the continuation of the adventure of the team in the WSBK 2013 is not of our further interest , as the sponsors and partners have decided to direct the promotional investment in other channels at this time achieve the value economic effort / visibility more appropriate to the volume of investments.
In the next days will be communicated in detail the operational programs. The Team takes this opportunity to thank publicly all those who have shared this adventure and all those who have spoken and written of us, whether good or bad.