Mercedes Benz have emerged as a likely buyer for the struggling Italian Superbike Manufacturer MV Agusta, who after a number of challenging years’ have found themselves with a seemingly insurmountable debt in excess of €40M.
Mercedes who purchased a 25% shareholding in the business in 2014, may look to cease this opportunity take control of the remainder of the business. Italian media is reporting that negotiations are already under way to complete the deal with one stumbling block being current president Giovanni Casiglioni keen to maintain his position with the business.
With fellow German automotive manufacturers BMW and Audi, through their purchase of Ducati in 2012, already well established in the motorbike sector Mercedes seeking entry into the market through MV Agusta would be a logical development.
Since purchasing their 25% shareholding of the business Mercedes have incorporated the AMG brand into MV Agusta’s World Superbike team livery, with a full takeover possible this deal could evolve into something of much greater significance.
Lewis Hamilton already an ambassador for MV Agusta, is known for his passion for motorbikes. He has spoken on numerous occasions of his desire to test a MotoGP bike. Hamilton, Having achieved his lifetime ambition of emulating hero Ayrton Senna’s three Formula One World Championships in 2015, may now be setting his sights beyond the world of Formula One. Lewis Hamilton is under contract with Mercedes for a further 3 years, but this contract and future agreements may include a freedom to participate in other championships with Mercedes support.
The rationale for Mercedes seeking to buy a motorbike manufacturer such as MV Agusta is to enable them to compete with the likes of Ducati and BMW in the sector, what better way to bring the brand to life than to have the Formula One World Champion join the MV Agusta World Super Bike team or for the brand to form a MotoGP team?
Assuming Lewis Hamilton would be capable of competing at the level of his peers in the category, Mercedes and Hamilton could mount a campaign to become the first Superbike and Formula One World Champion since John Surtees in the 1960’s.
Taking inspiration from Valentino Rossi, who at the age of 37 almost claimed the 2015 MotoGP championship, Lewis now 31 would have time to complete his current F1 contract and take time to adjust to a new category.
Information source in part: AutoBlog