Respected crew chief Pete Benson recently revealed he decided to stay in Moto2 instead of following his current rider, Scott Redding, to MotoGP next season because of concern he would be caught in the gears of a team's political machine, like in his final years at Repsol Honda.
Benson worked with Valentino Rossi at Repsol Honda and then tuned for Nick Hayden during his entire tenure with the team from 2003-08, including the run to the 2006 World Championship. He left the team shortly after working with Andrea Dovizioso in 2009 and was scooped up quickly by Marc VDS to work with Redding starting in 2010.
Redding leads the Moto2 standings this season with Benson turning the wrenches for Marc VDS. That outfit was expected to climb to MotoGP next season with Redding, but team owner Michael Bartholemy decided to stay in the intermediate category.
Redding landed a customer Honda RCV1000R in MotoGP next season with Gresini and wanted to bring Benson with him, as the two have forged a strong personal and mechanical bond. But quiet Australian Benson decided to stay put with Marc VDS and work with Tito Rabat in 2014.
"It was a really tough one because I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Scott, and I would love to keep working with him," Benson told British media. "But I had a pretty tough couple of years at Honda.
"I'd love to go back to MotoGP, as well, but it has to be a situation that I am happy with. I would like to do this for another 10 years, and I would love to keep doing it with Scott, but I don't feel that going to Gresini would be a great thing.
"I don't speak Italian, and I always feel that when a rider goes into a new team, you either take the whole team or you take nobody. For me to go there, it would probably be more disruptive than helpful, and I really struggled to see it as a progressive thing.
"It is unfortunate for Scott, but I didn't feel I could do him justice. It still feels hard even though the decision has been made. Every day I go home wondering if not going was the right thing to do, but at this point it is. But from the point of view of not being able to continue that relationship it is a real shame."
Benson said he would have stayed with Redding if the entire Marc VDS Team climbed to the premier class with Redding.
Was the quiet and reserved Benson a great fit at the Repsol Honda team in MotoGP? Maybe not. The championship he and Nicky Hayden scored in 2006 speaks for itself, but Benson always seemed to be very reserved for someone in the "survival of the fittest" environment of a factory MotoGP team. Marc VDS is a great home for him.