The Alto Evolution WSB team of Karl Muggeridge and Josh Brookes will miss this weekends Misano race after their race truck and bikes were stolen and their driver kidnapped.
The incredible turn of events began when the team began their journey back to Italy following the Silverstone WSB race.
The race truck stopped to refuel just outside Calais when it was hijacked by a gang and diverted to Brussels. The driver was taken hostage for over six hours before managing to escape at which point he raised the alarm with both Belgium and Italian police.
The Alto Evolution team claim that one of the four gang members who stole the truck was Mr Sergio Bertocchi. Bertocchi has run a team in WSB for over a decade and at the end of 2006 joined forces with Alto Evolution to form a new team for 2007. Bertocchi initially had the role of team manager in the team, but after the opening three rounds had his responsibilities reduced before an announcement in Monza revealed that he was no longer part of the Italian squad.
With the race truck still missing the Alto Evolution team sent a small van to collect some additional parts from their warehouse in Trieste, Italy where it to was hijacked and stolen, allegedly by the same gang.
With the police in both Belgium and Italy notified they were able to track and recover the vehicle thanks to electronic tagging and make a number of arrests.
Subsequently the race truck has been recovered with all bikes and tools in good condition, but because they are subject to an ongoing investigation the bikes can not be released back to the team meaning they will miss this weekend s Misano race.