MV Agusta Drops Russian Partner Yakhnich Motorsport: Business, Politics or Both?

2014 MV Agusta F4 RR 3 photos
Photo: MV Agusta
Claudio Corti and Giovanni Castiglioni2014 MV Agusta F4 RR
MV Agusta announced that the partnership with the Russian racing team Yakhnich Motorsport has been brought to a halt. The move was effective immediately, and the last weekend’s race at Misano, Italy saw MV Agusta full-factory teams on the grid. Both (former) partners have their own side of the story, but some speculate that there may be more to this than racing-related stuff.
If we are to believe the Varese-based company, the move was aimed at bringing the whole racing effort under one roof, namely, the MV Agusta one. The MV Agusta bikes sold very well in 2013 and this might have been a positive signal for Giovanni Castiglioni to play this card. With every detail under factory control, from riders to technological advances and investments, a part of the stress the racing effort comes with naturally may be eliminated, while communication would be dramatically improved and the most efficient measures easily implemented.

Castiglioni himself says that the company is planning to increase investments in the Reparto Corse: “We have reached some very important milestones with the F3 in the World Supersport Championship and we are continuing to invest in the development of the F4 Superbike with preparing for the new 2015 rules. We plan to significantly increase our commitment and investment in racing in order to achieve our very ambitious goals next season.”

On the other hand, Yakhnich Motorsport conveys that the development of the F4 RR World Superbike machine was progressing much too slowly and the 18th place Claudio Corti is currently on in the WSBK score sheets is nowhere near worth the efforts. In World Supersport MV Agusta is doing much better, with Frenchman Jules Cluzel being second after Honda’s VD Mark.

Some darker whispers claim that the separation between the two may also have a dash of political scent to it, caused by the recent events between Russia and Ukraine, with the European Union (and more countries outside it) not being exactly thrilled with the situation. The Ukrainian situation has already triggered several economic sanctions against Russia, to which Russia has responded reminding the EU of its gas leverage. It would be small surprise to see the affair expanding to the two-wheeled business, unfortunately.

MV Agusta will no longer employ the services of the Russian rider Vladimir Leonov, and has apparently inked a deal for 2015 with Cluzel and Corti for the two championships.
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