Satellite Ducati MotoGP team quits

MotoGP grid down to 17 bikes

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Jul. 13, 2009
The Grupo Francisco Hernando racing team has withdrawn from the 2009 MotoGP season.

The satellite Ducati team, run by Gelete and Pablo Nieto, sons of 14-time Grand Prix Champion Angel Nieto, has decided to pull out after eight rounds, citing economic reasons.

“Grupo Francisco Hernando will not complete the 2009 season. The reason for this termination is the world’s crisis. The Group has decided to concentrate on its investments, focusing all its efforts in its projects as a promoter and constructor,” says a statement released by Grupo Francisco Hernando.

Unless another team steps up, Sete Gibernau's comeback season is over.The team’s decision cuts short rider Sete Gibernau’s comeback season. Gibernau made his return to MotoGP competition this year after a two-year absence. A two-time championship runner-up, Gibernau competed in six of eight races this season with his best result an 11th-place finish at the Jerez round. Gibernau missed two races due to injury.

“I’m surprised at this decision. The team has fought hard to push this project ahead and on a personal level I believe we’ve met our targets at each race,” says Gibernau. “It’s a pity that now, when we are getting closer to getting better results which we had hoped for, we have to leave.”

Grupo Francisco Hernando’s decision will leave the MotoGP series with just 17 entries for the next round, July 17-19 at the Sachsenring in Germany.