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May 16, 2013

Triple Crown/RMR AMA Pro Team May Be In Financial Trouble. Bobby Fong And Stefano Mesa Left Without Rides? Updated With Comments From Creditor Richard Stanboli. Updated Again With A Press Release Issued By Richie Morris.

Bobby Fong (50) on his way to a third-place finish in the 2013 Harley-Davidson XR1200 race at Daytona. Fong also finished third in the 2013 Daytona 200, on a Yamaha. Photo by Brian J. Nelson.
The Triple Crown/RMR program put together by Dave Brite and Richie Morris has apparently hit financial trouble and will not be competing in the AMA Pro Racing event at Road America on the May 31st-June 2nd weekend.

As of post time, entries for team riders Bobby Fong and Stefano Mesa were not posted on the official AMA Pro Racing website, although an entry for Barnes was listed in the Harley-Davidson class. And Fong’s Yamahas were sitting--untouched since Fong finished third in the Daytona 200 held March 16th--at Crew Chief Perry Melneciuc’s shop in Atlanta.

Dave Brite responded to a text message requesting comment by texting that he would call this morning, but hasn’t done so. Richie Morris has not responded to a text message requesting comment.

Melneciuc returned a phone call this afternoon and told, “We’ve been let go. (Engine builder) Rick Boyles has been let go. The crew’s been let go.”

Reached by phone today, Fong said, ““As of right now I’ve been hearing a whole bunch of rumors too, and I actually haven’t gotten a definite answer from anybody.” He then asked if he could call back but hadn’t done so at post time.

Mauricio Mesa, Stefano’s father, told that Brite had not responded to phone calls or text messages asking what was going on.

Attack Performance Racing owner Richard Stanboli told that he had been notified by Brite that Triple Crown/RMR would be returning the semi-truck and equipment the team had leased from him for the 2013 season. According to Stanboli, Brite said that he was tired of spending too much money going racing in AMA Pro.

More information will be posted as it becomes available.

Copyright 2013 Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied, rewritten, redistributed, broadcast or published without the written permission of Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.

Updated Comments From Creditor Richard Stanboli

By David Swarts

Contacted Thursday and asked for further comment on his dealings with the Triple Crown/RMR race team, Attack Performance owner Richard Stanboli told, “The deal we had was we gave him a package deal on the transporter, some of the equipment that was in the transporter like the two rolling toolboxes and tools, and also electronic systems along with a support agreement for the electronics systems. We ironed out a deal. It was X amount of dollars and it was to be paid monthly. I got the first payment and nothing more than that.”

Stanboli, along with his semi-truck and equipment, supported the Triple Crown RMR team during pre-season testing and at the 2013 AMA Pro season-opening event March 14-16 at Daytona International Speedway. But after that race, Stanboli said he didn’t hear from team principals Dave Brite and Richie Morris for a long time.

“My mental deadline with those guys was COTA [the Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas at Circuit Of The Americas, where Stanboli fielded rider Blake Young on his CRT-class MotoGP bike],” said Stanboli. “’When I’m done with COTA I’m going to start getting on these guys to find out [what’s going on],’ because I hadn’t heard from them from Daytona to CoTA. That was my mental deadline. Immediately, I shot Dave a text message, and no reply. Then I shot Richie a message and said, ‘Look, where’s my transporter? Why haven’t I gotten paid? Dave isn’t returning my calls. It would be professional courtesy if someone would respond.’”

According to Stanboli, Brite recently got in touch with him and wanted to renegotiate his deal.

“I’ve been going back and forth with him [Brite],” said Stanboli. “He wanted to downsize originally, the team, because it just cost way too much at Daytona. He underestimated how much, I guess, the initial expense was going to be. So he asked me to go over a budget with him. I think he asked a bunch of people to do the same thing. I gave him a budget proposal. He shot me back something saying, ‘Maybe I can do it for this. I’ll let you know by Monday.’ And this was last Friday [May 11]. Then I guess Saturday they decided to pull the plug on the thing. That’s what Richie [Morris] told me.

“The sponsorship had not come through the way [Brite] had thought,” Stanboli said Brite told him. “He didn’t say whose job it was to gather up the dough, but that stuff should be worked out before you turn a wheel, before you make agreements with people. You don’t make agreements with individuals on the notion that you will get some money from racing. That’s the biggest no-no you can possible think of. That’s how you go broke. You figure out what you have to work with, then you go out and employ people accordingly. If you get more money you can step it up during the season, but if you don’t have the money you don’t go out and promise a bunch of stuff and not deliver. It’s a typically, ‘We decided to do this and now we don’t have any money.’ We’ve heard this in racing so many times. It’s nothing new.”

Stanboli said that Brite informed him on Wednesday, May 15 that he would be returning his transporter and equipment and that “’I’m going to make this good and figure out what I owe you.’ I just sent him a pro-rated invoice, I guess you could call it, for services rendered. We’ll see what he comes back with.

"I’m a little bit worried that this whole thing will disappear. In that case I’ll have to declare my transporter stolen and go that route.

“I feel bad for him [Brite], but at the same time I feel bad for us. We spent a lot of time getting [Bobby] Fong’s bikes up to speed, building systems for those guys, dynoing stuff over here. Just loading and unloading our stuff for days, again and again. It’s amazing how much stuff we had in there. All that stuff and we’re out. I’m pretty bitter about that.”

Copyright 2013 Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied, rewritten, redistributed, broadcast or published without the written permission of Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.

More, from a press release issued by Richie Morris:

Triple Crown / RMR announced today that Dave Brite (owner of Triple Crown Industries) will leave the AMA Pro Paddock effective immediately. Triple Crown / RMR was arranged last November when Dave Brite and Richie Morris (owner of Richie Morris Racing) agreed to align their two efforts.

"It breaks my heart to leave the riders and crew right before Road America," said Brite. "Richie and I have been discussing this since mid-April and it was the hardest decision I have ever made. Richie graciously understands my current situation and is in full support. We had an amazing season opener in Daytona, but, due to Hurricane Sandy my New York businesses have suffered greatly and require the majority of my time. I have been in the AMA Pro paddock out of love for the sport. However, from a business standpoint everything is based on speculation. At the present time I can not afford to move on in such a manner.”

Future plans with sponsors, riders, and crew are being discussed. The goal is to make sure everyone is satisfied and can move forward within the racing industry.

"Dave and I had a unique 2-year plan for Triple Crown / RMR. It was a new, creative way of working with sponsors and looked to be successful down range. I think we showed the world what our sponsors, riders, and crew were capable of doing in our first race at Daytona. Unfortunately, Dave's other businesses are requiring his full attention," stated Richie Morris. "As of now, I am not sure how far RMR can take the 2013 effort alone. I would love to see riders and crew have an opportunity to race Road America and beyond. Anyone who knows me will probably understand how upsetting this is at the last hour. The impact this could have on Bobby Fong keeps me awake at night. We have some really important sponsors, friends, and riders to think about. RMR will be speaking to them and making a decision soon on the future of the team. As for Dave, I wish him well and nothing but the best.”
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