The new Maxtra 125GP team, spearheaded by British motorsport legend John Surtees, looks certain to have change its name less than two months before the start of its maiden world championship campaign.
The team is expected to have to re-brand over reports that a French company has claimed the Maxtra name, nine months after Surtees helped launch the ambitious Chinese-backed Maxtra Grand Prix project at last May’s Shanghai GP.
Team Director Garry Taylor, former boss of Suzuki’s factory MotoGP team, told MCN:
“There is a chance that we may change the name we race under, but that is for copyright and trading reasons and we don’t see it as a good or bad change."
"Before you launch into a marketing programme the lawyers have to tick all the boxes and somewhere a long the line something is not completely clear at the moment and there is a possibility that we may change the name.”
If the team is forced to switch its name, Taylor confirmed it would simply revert to Haojue, which is the Chinese motorcycling manufacturer bankrolling the project, which will run British teenager Matt Hoyle and Austrian Michael Ranseder in 2009.
Taylor though was forced to concede that a name change was the most likely outcome, with access to the Maxtra Racing website now restricted since the brand claim. Taylor though has scoffed at reports in Holland suggesting engine designer and two-stroke guru Jan Witteveen has resigned from the team.
He added: “I don’t know where that has come. Jan is on board and speaking with him last night, he’s got no idea where that came from either.”