MotoGP boss gets Honda assurance

Published: 11 December 2008

Honda has told MotoGP bosses that it does intend to compete in MotoGP next season with six bikes, despite the global economic crisis forcing the Japanese factory to quit Formula One.

Although no official confirmation has yet come from HRC, Takanao Tsubouchi of the Motorcycle Sport Manufacturers Association (MSMA) relayed Honda’s intention at a meeting of the Grand Prix Commission in Barcelona yesterday.

Dorna boss Carmelo Ezpeleta attended the meeting, which saw the final rules agreed for the new 600cc class that will replace the current 250 two-stroke world championship in 2011.

International Race Teams Association president Herve Poncharal attended the meeting and he said: “Of course the F1 Honda news was a shock for everyone involved in motorsport, so this question of their participation was raised.

"He (Tsubouchi) is not a Honda spokesman but he represents all the manufacturers and Honda is one of the manufacturers and he told us that there were no worries about Honda’s involvement. I’ve spoken with Fausto Gresini and Lucio Cecchinello and nobody seems in any doubt that the six bikes they are planning to do will all be on the grid.”