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Jul 27, 2015

Forward Racing Will Not Compete At Indianapolis Following Arrest Of Team Owner Giovanni Cuzari

Forward Racing Owner and Director Giovanni Cuzari (center) with MotoGP riders Loris Baz (second from left) and Stefan Bradl (second from right) and Moto2 riders Simone Corsi (far right) and Lorenzo Baldassarri (far left).

Editorial Note: According to Swiss news website, the online presence of Corriere Del Ticino, Giovanni Cuzari, an Italian citizen who owns and manages the Athina Forward Racing team, was arrested July 13 in Switzerland and charged with suspicion of corruption and aggravated money laundering. Cuzari’s bank accounts have been seized by authorities to aid in their investigation.

Forward Racing renounces to Indianapolis trip

In the aftermath of the arrest and the charges against Giovanni Cuzari, director and owner of Forward Racing, the Team, through its closest collaborators, has returned to work immediately to stem the possible consequences of this situation, in order to continue its sport activity and to end the current season, following also the desire of Giovanni.

Unfortunately, the reaction of the sponsors, the main source of income of an independent team, was immediate and resolute. Inevitably some of them canceled the existing contracts and interrupted payments, creating further financial troubles that could jeopardize completely the surviving of the Team.

The activity of these last days was therefore focused on rebuilding sponsor relationships, the Team was able to reach a consensus to regain some vital economic aid to cover the costs of the upcoming races. New processes of collection and payment were activated, the economic admin was rebuilt and new operational modalities were agreed with the Public Prosecutor of Lugano (Procura di Lugano).

The concrete possibility to start again and the hope to protect the interests of our riders, engineers, contractors and suppliers, led us to agree with IRTA, the International Racing Teams Association, not to deploy our riders at the start of the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix on August 9th, in order to gather all the resources and to better organize the upcoming trips.

This painful decision was necessary in order to try to ensure our participation to the World Championship until the end of the season. The work of the team will continue with the aim to get back on track at Brno for the bwin Grand Prix Ceské republiky scheduled on August 16th.

Marco Curioni, Managing Director

“It was a very difficult week for the Forward Racing team. Only in the last hours we have glimpsed the real possibility of overcome this situation. I hope to have Giovanni - who until proven to the contrary he is correct to assume innocent - soon with us and available to find a solution. In this dark moment, several "partners" and "friends" have understandably distanced himself from the team and then for this reason I want to thank those who are helping us: Dorna and IRTA gave us full support from the beginning, all members of the team that they gave their unconditional support and those sponsors and the new companies - that despite the objective concerns - gave us confidence and are interpreting the meaning of sponsorship in the original reason: financial aid to allow the athlete to realise his talent".