The Corona/Jake Holden Saga

Press Release | February 10, 2009

The following is from Corona Honda… Dated February 9, 2009 Corona Extra Honda Racing is extremely disappointed that Jake Holden’s manager, Mr. Michael Murphy, has chosen to mischaracterize in the press what transpired between Jake and the Team. The facts are Jake, through his attorney Alessandro Assanti, resigned from the team in writing on December 7, 2008. His resignation came without following formal procedures as stipulated in his contract. Jake received full payment in 2008 for his services. Corona Extra Honda Racing made every effort to convince Jake to remain on the Team but received no response from him or his attorney. Corona Extra Honda Racing was placed in the position of having to fill Mr. Holden’s spot and accepted his resignation. Thereafter Mr. Murphy, in his first communication to the Team indicated that Jake’s plans to ride elsewhere had changed and he wished to remain with Corona Extra Honda Racing. Unfortunately for Jake and the Team there was no spot remaining. Attorneys for both sides mutually agreed that the matter was closed. The Corona Extra Honda Racing Team wishes Jake nothing but success in his future racing career. The following is from Jake Holden’s attorney… 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 is job. Alessandro G. Assanti, Esq.

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