Current and former MX1 Motocross World Champions Antonio Cairoli and David Philippaerts have been ruled out of this year’s Motocross of Nations team for Italy, outraging KTM and Yamaha as the pair of manufacturers released an official statement on Sunday.
The Italian Motorcycle Federation (FMI) announced on Saturday that Cairoli and Philippaerts aren’t on the short list of riders to be selected, with FMI unwilling to allow its team riders to adorn their team sponsors on the jerseys for 2010’s MXoN – a clause that KTM and Yamaha find unacceptable.
“After discussions with the Italian Federation, in which Yamaha Motor Europe and KTM Sport Motorcycles were willing and fully open for negotiation regarding representation on the official Italian team jersey, we were disappointed to learn that 2008 MX1-GP World Champion Philippaerts and reigning MX1-GP World Champion Cairoli were eliminated from the final short-list,” a joint statement from KTM and Yamaha said.
“We would like to clarify that both riders are available but the condition of FMI that there will be no space allowed at all for the manufacturer or its sponsors on the front of jersey is not acceptable to both Yamaha and KTM.
“The FMI was only prepared to open two tiny spaces on the sleeve of each jersey and despite several efforts from Yamaha and KTM a compromise for a frontal space was not reached. Yamaha and KTM had already accepted for the FMI to decide the base colour and to add their own sponsors on the jersey, if not in conflict with existing team partners.
“Discussions of this nature are not unusual for the Motocross of Nations with many riders, teams, brands and companies represented by the three best riders from each country around the globe coming together under one umbrella.
“For virtually all other countries a compromise as proposed by Yamaha and KTM is considered very much acceptable for all parties involved. Other countries allow the riders to use their regular GP clothing without or virtually without any modification.”
“Yamaha and KTM sincerely regret that both top riders will seemingly not be able to enter the MXoN for Italy in 2010, which we regard as a fantastic event for motocross followers all around the world and prestigious for all participants. Yamaha and KTM remain open to a solution so that fans of motocross and the Italian team in an era when the country is proving to be strong in the discipline will not be deprived.”
The 2010 MXoN will be held at Thunder Valley in Colorado on 25-26 September.