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Feb 10, 2009

The Corona Extra Honda Racing - Jake Holden Saga Continues, Now With A Statement From Holden's Lawyer

I am disappointed at the press release provided by Corona and had no choice but to comment. First, the industry does not need this type of bickering. It is a complete distraction from the business of going racing. Certainly Corona could not sit idle and let itself be hammered with out a response; however what was stated is unfair to Mr. Holden.

First, there is no doubt in my mind something over at Corona is fundamentally wrong. I have on four separate occasions retained clients who were a mechanic, two riders and crew chief all from issues that stem from Corona's operations for the 2008 race season. On all occasions, I attempted to correct the problem and on most occasions issues were resolved amicably. If you need comment on the inner workings of the Corona team, there are several individuals who would be able to comment on its operations. I will not do that here.

With regard to Jake Holden, there was a material breach of the rider agreement by Corona that was in place for the 2008 and 2009 racing seasons. There were no other protocols that needed to be met on Mr. Holden's behalf. Mr. Holden completely performed on all aspects of the contract where he had a duty to perform. Prior demands were made upon Corona during the 2008 racing season to cure but to no avail, prior to my involvement. As I see it, if Mr. Holden is unsuccessful in obtaining a rider salary and/or earnings of greater or equal value, Corona is on the hook for Mr. Holden's salary for the 2009 racing season. Mr. Holden is as you all know a great rider, and more importantly, a fantastic person who did nothing to bring this upon himself. If he does not compete in the AMA in 2009 it will be a loss for the series.

This issue is simply not one where Mr. Holden or I did not get back to them and they had to make decisions to replace him. Mr. Hodgson is not a replacement rider for the spot allegedly left vacant by Mr. Holden. As you know, Mr. Hodgson is contracted to Honda Motor Corporation for the 2009 season. I can tell you that he simply would not ride for the Corona team as it was constituted for Mr. Holden. If there were any participation, on Mr. Hodgson's part, the team would have to be drastically different. The bike is different, and the mechanics and team are different. This is not a replacement issue. What has happened is Corona slapped its paint on what was once Factory Honda Racing. Again, this not a replacement.

It is my belief, that things are a great deal different over at Corona than what they are telling the press. I believe there was a meeting of the minds between Honda and Corona due to Corona's continued problems with its riders, mechanics and crew chief. At that point, a decision was made to combine the budgetary efforts of both Corona and Honda which prompted Corona to give Mr. Holden his walking papers. Again, this is simply not Mr. Holden refusing to show up and do his job.

Alessandro G. Assanti, Esq.
A. G. Assanti & Associates, a P.L.C.
Aliso Viejo, California