Honda powerless to influence MotoGP switch for Jonathan Rea

By Matthew Birt -

MotoGP

 04 October 2012 11:41

HRC has admitted it was powerless to sway satellite team boss Fausto Gresini towards signing Jonathan Rea in 2013.

Honda is consulted on rider selection for its satellite teams but has no right to veto Gresini or Lucio Cecchinello’s preferred choice.

So despite throwing its support behind Rea for the RC213V currently raced by Spaniard Alvaro Bautista, it was a recommendation rather than a request.

Gresini is likely to keep Bautista after he scored a career first MotoGP podium in Misano recently and HRC Vice-President Shuhei Nakamoto told MCN: “With a satellite team HRC cannot make the rider choice but probably Alvaro deserves another chance.

"With a satellite team the sponsorship is very important and Fausto could not make this decision alone. He has to speak to his sponsors and in this case it was not easy. Most of his sponsorship is from an Italian company.

"Initially he had some interest in Jonathan but it was not possible to bring together all of the sponsorship."

Rea confirmed to MCN during last weekend’s Motorland Aragon race that the Gresini option had fallen through just before he signed a new deal to partner Leon Haslam in the Ten Kate Honda squad in 2012 on an upgraded CBR1000RR.

Rea told MCN: “There was a very clear option for me in MotoGP, but my hands were tied with it. It was out of my hands and for one reason or another it didn’t happen.

"I got informed on the Wednesday before Portimao that it wasn’t possible. It was with a fourth Honda bike.”

Asked how he felt about missing out on one of the best rides in the MotoGP paddock, Rea he added: “I don’t really want to go there at the minute.

"I don’t know the whole politics behind it because I am not involved in every single meeting that went on about the opportunity but from the outside it looked like there was a lot of influence and push from Honda but on the other side I didn't come with a big wage packet from a British sponsor that wanted to put me there.

"It seemed like that was the case with that ride. Honda were pushing quite hard for me and it didn’t come off but it is a lot more political. Honda can’t influence the decision of the rider for the satellite team. They can give their opinions.”