The future of the IODA Racing project for 2014 is looking extremely uncertain. The Italian team, scheduled to race Aprilia ART machinery in the Open class in MotoGP this year, were absent from the first Sepang test, and it appears they will also be absent from the second Sepang test as well. According to reports on both the GPOne.com and Bikesportnews.com websites, a lack of sponsorship has left the team in financial difficulties, and thrown their plans for 2014 into disarray.
IODA's problems started at the end of last year, when they lost the sponsorship of CAME, the electronic gate and door manufacturer. Though they have signed both Danilo Petrucci and Leon Camier, without significant financial investment, the team could be in serious trouble making it to the end of the year. GPOne.com is reporting that Dorna has stepped in to help IODA make it to the Qatar preseason test, though only with Petrucci. More funds will be required if Camier is also to take part.
IODA boss Giampiero Sacchi appears to have gambled on receiving more support from Aprilia. After the loss of the Aspar team in MotoGP, the Noale factory had no representation in the premier class, and were left with no alternative except IODA. Talks have been strained between the two parties, however, with contracts supposed to have been signed in recent weeks. There has been nothing but silence from either side, however, with the only information issued being press releases on the team's Moto2 tests at Valencia and Jerez.
Where this leaves the team is unclear. It is extremely unlikely that the team will be allowed to pull out altogether, support from Dorna to run at least Petrucci being much more likely. Whether IODA - or Camier - can find extra sponsorship to help run a second bike for the British rider remains very much to be seen.