Wednesday, June 13, 2007

WSBK: High Drama, Hijacking

There are many tales of motorcycle racing in the old days, involving teams run by crazy men with money from dubious sources. Those days have been gone for a long time.
Now they're back.
The relationship between World Superbike team Alto Evolution and its team boss Sergio Bertocchi has been strained for some time. First, his duties were reduced, then the team split with him altogether. Allegedly, Bertocchi was seen around the WSBK paddock still wearing an Alto Evolution team shirt, causing the team to issue a press release making clear that they had parted company with him.
In the latest ridiculous, "couldn't make it up" instalment of the saga, Alto Evolution had their bike transporter truck hijacked and the driver taken prisoner as it was being driven back towards Italy from the Silverstone round of World Superbike. The driver managed to escape and contact the Belgian police, who quickly found the truck as it was fitted with an electronic tracking device (no surprise, considering that the bikes alone must be worth a couple of hundred grand in any currency).
Incredibly, the same gang also attempted to hijack a van carrying parts from the team's warehouse, but were foiled after a joint Belgian-Italian police operation.
It doesn't come as much of a shock to learn that the increasingly erratic Bertocchi has been questioned in connection with the hijacking.
The tragedy of this is that the bikes and equipment are now official evidence in a criminal investigation, and will be held under lock and key by the authorities for at least a couple of weeks. Their two Aussie riders, Karl Muggeridge and Josh Brookes, will be forced to sit out this weekend's races at Misano. It's a cruel blow for the Italian team to miss a home event, but hopefully as time passes they will be able to calm down and smile at the sheer ludicrousness of it all.


Alessandro Matteucci aka Alex 555 said...

I was aware of the situation and I read the official versions of the fact released be the two sides, and it seems the old man Bertocchi tryed to secure "his own truck" after being canned financially by the team for which he was working ....Let's see what happens next

Jimmy said...

It's very strange, but I don't think that hijacking a truck and kidnapping the driver is the way to solve financial disagreements!