Marc VDS MotoGP boss Batholemy refutes exit amid owner rift claims

Marc VDS MotoGP team boss Michael Bartholemy says his role is not under threat amid reports of a rift with owner Marc van der Straten.

The team was reported to be facing an uncertain future during the Jerez weekend due to a growing rift between Batholemy and van der Straten, but Marc VDS released a statement confirming it is committed to racing until the end of 2021.

A deal to run Yamaha bikes is said to be close after it previously admitted dissatisfaction with Honda machinery.

Marc VDS currently runs rookies Franco Morbidelli and Thomas Luthi in the premier class, with Kalex bikes fielded in Moto2 for Alex Marquez and Joan Mir.

But team boss Bartholemy has now issued a statement addressing claims that he had been mismanaging the Marc VDS squad’s resources and that he would be removed from his post.

The statement read: “Allegations of financial impropriety were made against me personally during the Spanish Grand Prix weekend in Jerez. These allegations were made not directly, but via the press.

“Since these allegations were made against me in my role of team principal of the Marc VDS Racing team, I rejected the allegations unreservedly and vowed to defend against them robustly.

“That remains my clear position. For this matter to be resolved at the earliest opportunity, I have made repeated requests through my legal representatives for evidence to be provided in relation to the unfounded allegations.

“I wish to make it clear that no evidence has been forthcoming from Mr Marc van der Straten or his legal team. Furthermore, they informed us that journalists falsely reported Mr Marc van der Straten’s declarations.

“I would also like to make it clear that Mr van der Straten and his legal team have confirmed that there has been no termination of [a] contract.

“Finally, they have made no communication informing me that I am no longer responsible for managing the Marc VDS Racing Team as Team Principal in future.”

Bartholemy added a scheduled meeting with van der Straten in Geneva was cancelled, indicating that this meant the allegations are “off the table”.

The statement continued: “I offered several options as to how this issue might be resolved, but no solution at all was presented by Mr Marc van der Straten.

“I received a request for a meeting on Monday, May 14 at 1530 CET in Geneva, Switzerland, which I confirmed that I would attend.

“At 1830 CET on Friday, May 11 that meeting was cancelled without any content-related explanation and with no indication that the meeting would be rescheduled.

“For me, this action can only be interpreted in one way; that all such allegations are off the table now.

“I will therefore be attending this weekend’s French MotoGP round in Le Mans to continue as Team Principal of the Marc VDS Racing Team, with all my dedication for the team.”

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