Motorbike ace Deane Browne has been involved in a war of words with his management after quitting the team he has been with for seven years.
The 20-year-old from Motherwell, pictured above, insists the bike he rode isn’t good enough and held him back in the season just ended. He’s seeking a new team for next year.
However, Team Appleyard Macadam Racing claimed there is nothing wrong with the bike and ‘responsibility rests squarely with the rider’.
Brown was angry team manager Robin Appleyard made the issue public after he quit during the British Supersport meeting at Silverstone, the second last championship event of the season.
In recent years Brown has finished third and fourth overall in his category, establishing himself as one of the top young riders in Britain.
This season his best individual finish was sixth, but he said he was handicapped by a bike that had a ‘multitude’ of problems.
Brown said: “When everything was right with it - which was only on a handful of occasions - my times were every bit as quick as the first three guys.
“I was having problems with the bike in practice on a Friday which were escalating on the Saturday and finally fixed before the race on Sunday which was too late. That meant I was 10th or 11th on the starting grid and to keep up with the leaders you need to be with them at the start.
“The Supersport class is the most competitive in the whole championship, but I feel I had a few top five finishes in me and didn’t have the machinery to prove myself.”
Team boss Appleyard, though ‘extremely disapointed’ by Brown’s departure, saw the situation differently.
He said: “We have tried to develop and nurture Deane’s natural talent and there is no doubt he has come on in leaps and bounds.
“Unfortunately, sometimes riders blame their tools and, whilst occasionally mistakes are made by mechanics, when it comes down to pace and set up the responsibility rests squarely with the rider.
“We put Deane’s engine on team mate Graeme Gowland’s bike and he finished fifth which I think proves a point.”
However, Brown said people had been urging him to go for months as the bike was ‘making me look stupid’.
He added: “Appleyard are trying to cover their backs by blaming me. It was time to walk away.”