MONDAY 25TH JULY 2005
The Paris Court of Arbitration has found Alex Barros guilty of breaching a contract with Altadis - owners of the Gauloises and Fortuna tobacco brands - when he left the Gauloises backed Tech 3 Yamaha team to join Repsol Honda.
Barros signed a two-year deal with Altadis for the 2003 and 2004 seasons, but a disastrous 2003 on the YZR-M1 - in which he claimed just one podium finish - and the offer of a Valentino Rossi's recently vacated world championship winning Repsol Honda ride, prompted the Brazilian to jump ship to Honda for the 2004 season.
Altadis then sued Barros 'not only to protect its own interests but also for the good of the sport itself' and, having now been found guilty, the current Camel Honda rider must pay Altadis the hefty sum of $2.9million USD plus costs.
The decision issued by the Arbitral Court is 'definitive and without any possibility of appeal' and is summarised as follows:
"1. Mr Barros to pay to Altadis the amount of USD 2,900,000, plus interest at the rate of 3.85% on the amount so awarded from November 2003 until payment.
"2. Orders that Mr Barros bear 70% of the costs of this arbitration fixed at USD 150,000.
"3. Orders that Mr Barros pay to Altadis the amount of USD 180,000 as contribution to Claimant's costs and expenses incurred for this arbitration.
"4. Declares the present Award immediately enforceable."
Barros, who left Repsol Honda at the end of a winless 2004 season, finished third in his 250th GP at Donington Park on Sunday.
Alex Barros - Gauloises Yamaha.