mercredi 4 février 2009

Honda 2009 Motorcycle Racing Plans

TOKYO, Japan, January 27, 2009–Honda Motor Co., Ltd. has announced its motorcycle racing plans for 2009, as outlined below.

With its motorsports activities as the symbol of Honda's challenging spirit, the company has competed in a variety of races since the days of it’s founding, aiming for the top level in the world. Constantly striving to fulfill big dreams and high aspirations, Honda has pursued the challenge of leading-edge innovation.

In 1954, Soichiro Honda, the company's founder, announced Honda's intention to take part in the Isle of Man T.T. Race, a Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix (WGP) race. Honda started competing in the WGP five years later in 1959. In 1961, only the company's third season, Honda succeeded in dominating the 125cc and 250cc classes of the Isle of Man T.T. Race, winning the top five positions in both classes. Honda also earned its first rider’s and manufacturer’s titles in both the 125cc and 250cc classes, titles the company had eagerly awaited. Since then, Honda has taken on challenges in a variety of motorcycle race categories.

A logo commemorating the 50th anniversary of Honda’s participation in the WGP is attached to the machines and to the uniforms of the riders in each race.

For 2009, the 50th anniversary of the start of Honda participation in the WGP, the company has set its sights on recapturing the championship in the MotoGP class, the top WGP class. Honda will tackle this challenge by drawing on its advanced technologies. Honda aims to continue working on new endeavors with the know-how it has accumulated up to now, along with the spirit of challenge fostered through these motorsports activities, with the hope of sharing the dreams and excitement from these activities with its customers

Road Races
♦ FIM*1 Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix
MotoGP class
Honda has set its sights on recapturing the three championship titles of rider, manufacturer and team in the MotoGP class, the top class of the Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix (WGP), with a total of six riders competing, including satellite team members. Honda plans to race six RC212V machines, which have been further evolved with state-of-the-art technologies.

The Repsol Honda works team will compete with two riders: Dani Pedrosa, in his forth year in the MotoGP class, and Andrea Dovizioso, Pedrosa’s new works team teammate. Yuki Takahashi moves up from the 250cc to the MotoGP class this season to compete as a satellite team member. As the only Japanese rider in the MotoGP class, expectations for his success in the series are high .
*1: FIM stands for Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme.

Team Number Rider Age Nationality 2008 Result
Repsol Honda Team 3 Dani Pedrosa 23 Spain MotoGP 3rd
4 Andrea Dovizioso 22 Italy MotoGP 5th
Team San Carlo Honda Gresini 15 Alex De Angelis 24 San Marino MotoGP 14th
24 Toni Elias 25 Spain MotoGP 12nd
Scot Racing Team MotoGP 72 Yuki Takahashi 24 Saitama, Japan WGP 250cc 5th
LCR Honda MotoGP 14 Randy De Puniet 27 France MotoGP 15th

250cc class
In the 250cc class, Honda will field six riders from a total of four teams. Hiroshi Aoyama, Raffaele De Rosa and Ratthapark Wilairot will ride the RS250RW. Moving up to the world championship series this season for a greater challenge is Shoya Tomizawa, who until last year, competed in the GP250 class of the All-Japan Road Race Championship Series. Tomizawa, along with Bastien Chesaux and Toni Wirsing, will take part in the race on an RS250R.

Team Number Rider Age Nationality 2008 Result
Scot Racing Team 250cc 4 Hiroshi Aoyama 27 Chiba, Japan WGP 250cc 7th
35 Raffaele De Rosa 21 Italy WGP 125cc 18th
Thai Honda PPT SAG 14 Ratthapark Wilairot 20 Thailand WGP 250cc 13th
CIP Moto-GP250 48 Shoya Tomizawa 18 Chiba, Japan All-Japan RR Championship GP250 2nd
Racing Team Germany 8 Bastien Chesaux 17 Switzerland -
9 Toni Wirsing 18 Germany -