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MotoGP, CryptoDATA and Dorna: now it's war in the courts

The exclusion of the RNF team at the end of 2023 was quick and brutal, but it seemed that the parties had reached an agreement. However, the hatchet has been dug up by the Romanians of CryptoDATA: "An abuse of power, we will seek damages"

MotoGP: CryptoDATA and Dorna: now it's war in the courts

The move at the end of November regarding the exclusion of the RNF Cryptodata team from the 2024 MotoGP world championship seemed risky at first. Dorna denounced contractual violations and actions unsuitable for the championship by the team, opting to exclude it with a univocal decision. Obviously the shit then hit the fan, as they say in technical jargon, with a public message exchange between the parties bordering on parody. Then on December 5th an agreement was magically reached, with apparent mutual satisfaction, to avoid prolonging the dispute.

An agreement that evidently failed because now the team has returned to attacking rather bluntly. The news has been reported by several media, complete with an attached statement from Ovidiu Toma, CEO of CryptoDATA.

“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 – went the statement – 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."

So now everything will be decided in court, but while many details of the matter are unknown and it is difficult to understand where the blame lies, Dorna may perhaps be concerned about one aspect which already emerges from this press release. In the past we have already often spoken about the complex situation of Dorna, which effectively runs the two main motorcycle championships, namely MotoGP and SBK, as a monopoly.

Perhaps this is the argument that will allow CryptoDATA to find fertile ground for a frontal attack. 'Fair competition' is mentioned in the text of the press release, and obviously a monopoly regime has little to do with the very concept of fair competition. Our Speedweek colleagues have also asked Dorna for an official statement on the issue and this was the response received.

"We do not comment publicly on these allegations made against us as this is a difficult and sensitive issue. We naturally reject all allegations made against us."


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