News 22 Oct 2009

WSS: Ant West without a ride for Portimao as Stiggy team folds

Team Stiggy Racing Honda has lost even more weight since the last round in Magny-Cours, three weeks ago. More cutbacks have forced the team to trim the rider line up further and as a result Supersport rider Anthony West will not be able to make his planned final appearance for the team.

The 28-year-old Australian who started off the season well by finishing third at Philip Island has had a troublesome and difficult time for most of the year. Following another two podium finishes, (in Valencia and Brno) Anthony has now managed to bring home 117 points and holds a current fifth place in the championship.

“Yeah, it’s pretty bad to end a season like this but on the other hand I wasn’t very motivated anymore,” admitted West. “We’ve been struggling with me getting to like the feel of the bike all year, and some races were better then others. All-in-all it’s been a pretty frustrating year for us.

“For me, I know I can do so much better and for the team, they are also used to doing so much better in the Supersport class. I will now start concentrating on next year, and I will hopefully make a test in Portimao after race weekend. I will be present at Portimao all weekend and it will be hard just to watch when I should be out there racing. Still, I want to say thanks to my team and to Stiggy, we had a tough year but at the same time we had some good laughs together. For next year I’m going to try turn my luck around, maybe starting with changing my No 13.”

For team manager Johan Stigefelt, the decision to drop West with a round remaining was a difficult one, forcing the team to focus on Superbike rider Leon Haslam to round out the season.

“Economic difficulties have made it impossible for us to finish the season the way we wanted. Yet again I have been forced to take drastic measures and had to cut Anthony for the last race,” he explained. “This is a very bad situation I have been put in and if I could solve the problems in a different way I would; this was really a last resort solution. It is not easy for me as the team manager to cut a rider but that’s the reality we find ourselves in, unfortunately.”