until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League


Former team owner CryptoData threatens MotoGP with legal action

by Simon Patterson
2 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Former satellite Aprilia MotoGP team owner CryptoData is poised to initiate legal action against championship promoter Dorna and teams' body the International Race Teams Association, claiming that the two organisations have committed ‘serious breaches of contractual obligations and engaged in anti-competitive practices’ following the decision to withdraw the team’s grid spots at the end of 2023.

The Romanian cybersecurity firm joined the MotoGP paddock in 2022, when it title sponsored the Austrian Grand Prix, before expanding its presence for 2023 by not only sponsoring Razlan Razali’s RNF Racing team but actually taking over as co-owner of the Malaysian-based squad following the collapse of previous title sponsor WithU.

CryptoData worked with the team through its transition from Yamaha to Aprilia machinery as well as retaining the title sponsorship of the 2023 race at the Red Bull Ring.

But the deal came to an unexpected end at the final round of last year’s championship at Valencia when Dorna and IRTA announced that Cryptodata RNF would lose its starting positions for 2024.

“The MotoGP Selection Committee,” a brief statement read at the time, “comprising members of FIM, IRTA and Dorna Sports, have decided not to select the CryptoDATA RNF MotoGP Team for the 2024 season.

“Repeated infractions and breaches of the Participation Agreement affecting the public image of MotoGP have obliged this decision.

“The Selection Committee will be reviewing applications for a new Independent Team, using Aprilia machinery, to join the MotoGP class grid for 2024.”

RNF was almost immediately replaced by American new entry Trackhouse, which has continued to employ the majority of the former RNF team.

It was suggested at the time that Dorna, IRTA and CryptoData had come to a financial agreement around CryptoData exiting MotoGP.

However, according to a document seen by The Race, those negotiations seem to have failed, prompting CryptoData’s director Ovidiu Toma to launch legal action.

“Despite repeated attempts to address these issues through dialogue, Dorna and IRTA have consistently failed to meet their financial commitments and have engaged in actions that constitute an abuse of power and a breach of competition law,” the document reads.

“These actions have not only resulted in significant financial losses for our company but have also aimed at undermining our competitive position and reputation in the industry.

“We have gathered substantial evidence that demonstrates the extent of Dorna and IRTA's abusive behaviour and their disregard for lawful agreements.

“Consequently, we are bringing this matter to the attention of the relevant competition authorities and are prepared to pursue all legal avenues to seek restitution and damages for the harm caused by their actions.

“This step is taken not only in defence of our interests but also to highlight the importance of

fair competition and integrity within the sports and business communities.

“We believe that no entity should stand above the law and principles of fair play, and we are committed to fighting against practices that harm the competitive landscape.”

Dorna said it was unable to comment on the matter when approached by The Race.

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