Leib in for Maggiora
- Updated: June 14, 2013
Great news from American racer Michael Leib that he has secured a deal with the Gariboldi Honda team to race the Grand Prix of Italy. That is now three American riders in the MXGP lineup. Its a long time that we have had that.
Here is a statement from Michael Leib.
Hello from Italy! I thought it would be best to make a statement since things have gotten pretty interesting over here in Europe. I normally would not do this but I feel that my reputation has been on the line and want to set the record straight before racing for Giraboldi Honda this weekend at the G.P. in Maggiore, Italy.
The Beursfoon Rockstar Suzuki team offered me a verbal racing offer, no contract, for the 2013 GP’s here in Europe. After riding their bike in November I told them it had potential and I would be interested if they could build a bike capable of winning a GP. Months ago the team was presented with the full details of our motor and suspension package. The team insisted that after testing their bike, if I was not happy with the suspension or the motor they had the financial recourses to let me bring in my own suspension and motors, “this would not be an issue”.
I am 100% healthy and was able to ride 2 – 35 minute motos per day before I flew to Holland to test and prepare to race the French GP and was disappointed to find that the race motor was not ready and rode a close to stock motorcycle that was unacceptable. We agreed not to race the French GP. The following week the race motor was ready and I was looking forward to what it would do on the track. I was disappointed with the performance and mechanical issues we were faced with. My mechanic Roel, was working non-stop to correct all of the problems. Thank you for that Roel!
After almost three weeks of being in Holland and riding sub-par equipment that continually didn’t last more than 25 minutes and no explanation of what was wrong, I was unable to get them to agree to get my motors and suspension here.
On this past Monday we left for the 17 hour drive to Italy, I was unsettled about the situation to say the least, having little confidence since the team would not agree to do what they promised to do, to make this a competitive bike, this “was now an issue.”
15 hours into the trip, I talked to the team owner and he informed me that he was not going to consider even trying my motor, period. I told him that was not our deal and that I did not feel confident that I could race their bikes. He then turned the hauler around back to Holland and they dropped me off at the airport, thus terminating our agreement. Pretty upsetting.
While I was at the airport in Germany for roughly 8 hours trying to figure out what I was going to do with the rest of my life, I contacted every available race contact in Europe looking for a ride, there was nothing. At that point I looked into booking a flight home. A good friend here in Italy persuaded me to go the GP and shake hands before heading home to be sure there wasn’t another opportunity for me. I agreed to fly to Milan.
On Wednesday, Beursfoon Rockstar Suzuki released a press release stating, “we are immediately terminating our cooperation with Leib”..,
Now for the crazy part, John the team owner at Buersfoon Rockstar Suzuki, plans on suing me and is here in Italy demanding I pay him money or he will file a restraining order blocking me from riding. He has also communicated with every team he could reach telling them what a horrible person I am. He also demanded Youthstream not grant me an entry to race.
It’s a shame, It’s simply a matter of me standing up for what we discussed earlier in the year. Their bike is not competitive – they did not take the steps necessary to make it competitive. The level of performance that I’ll be racing against is very high and Buersfoon Rockstar Suzuki knew full well that the only reason I agreed to race their bike was if it was really good.
I was given an opportunity to a last minute test with Girabadi Honda to see of there was a possible fit. I met with the team, I rode their bike, liked the bike and the whole team. I have agreed to race this weekend.
As I write this John from Buersfoon Rockstar Suzuki is here at the track with his lawyer trying to stop me from racing.
I just got word that the red #80 will be racing this weekend. Thank you Youthstream, AMA, Giraboldi Honda, Josh Pitts, Andrea Giradello, family, friends, and fans!
Michael Leib #80