I can’t imagine that Honda are falling on their swords as one contributor has said - that just doesn’t happen in the Land of the Rising Sun anymore. Those captains of collapse who created the financial fiasco in 1990s Japan are still smiling and running the place. NO, HONDA, AS IN THE LATE 1960S, HAVE OVER-REACHED THEMSELVES BY GETTING HEAVILY INVOLVED IN F1 AND MOTOGP, as well as highly expensive R&D for their road models (the latest of these, costing millions in development will now never see the light of day). Bankrupt Honda bailed out of all 4 and 2 wheel competitions in late 1967, leaving the bike field open to MV and Yamaha. They had become arrogant, and did not realise that even the late, great Mike Hailwood could not wrest the 500 title from ‘dream-racer’ Count Agusta without a logical development program for their bike. Mike demanded, not just power, but better handling. Honda R&D were unable to comply and even prevented Mike from using a British-built frame (by Reynolds if I remember rightly). IT WAS SAID AT THE TIME THAT BIKE R&D WAS TAKING SECOND PLACE TO THE DEPARTMENT’S CAR WORK. Sound familiar? It ought to, for the same thing has been happening recently. There is no separate bike R&D dept at Honda, and logic dictates that MGP parts come last in the queue - no wonder the riders get hot under the collar, and the team managers find themselves between a rock and a hard place. Rossi knew a few things when he left ‘super-duper’ Honda for a ‘no-hope’ Yamaha, leaving Hayden to deal with the excreta. We can laugh at the quaking Honda team managers squatting down behind the paddock motor-homes, chain smoking themselves into an early grave - but remember this - if Honda does go, so might MGP. THERE IS, OF COURSE, A WORSE SCENARIO, AND THAT IS ALL THE TEAMS LEAVING. Never happened before? Don’t believe it - my one regret is that I started attending the TT just after Norton, and most of the Italian teams (barring MV) bailed out of GPs in the mid-1950s (all the other Brit factory teams had already departed). In the premier class there followed many a long, boring year with 90 bhp MVs leading home a host of 45 bhp clubman’s-tuned Manx Nortons. Unfortunately, it seems will all be repeated again, but just before we drown our sorrows with that bottle of Scotch, we should remember that the result of boring racing in the 60s was production racing. The question is, then, will Superbikes be the new MGP? Bring it on!! (if so, bet Rossi abandons his rally car ideas to try for new bike records - - OH NO, HERE WE GO AGAIN!!).