Lucio Cecchinello: Honda won’t quit MotoGP

Published: 16 December 2008

LCR Honda team boss Lucio Cecchinello has told MCN he is convinced that the Japanese factory will honour its commitment to supply six bikes in the 2009 MotoGP world championship.

Honda’s involvement in the premier class series next season was thrown into doubt when it made a shock decision to quit Formula One because of the global economic crisis.

A Honda spokesman confirmed to MCN earlier this week that the credit crunch would inevitably impact on Honda’s MotoGP effort, but independent team boss Cecchinello is adamant that all four Honda teams will be on the grid in 2009.

“I haven’t spoken with Honda at all, but I would like to say that Honda in Formula One is a completely different department to HRC,” Cecchinello said. “The history of Honda is producing motorcycles. They’ve made cars for many years, but Honda’s core business is motorcycles and I’m pretty sure they will never stop racing in MotoGP.

”I don’t think their Formula One decision will have any impact for MotoGP. HRC is a subsidiary of Honda, so maybe they will receive some kind of budget cut. But this is something that will happen for every motorcycle manufacturer with sales decreasing for everybody.”

Honda caused another major surprise last week when it confirmed its withdrawal from the American superbike series. The move to shutdown its factory operation has left British rider Neil Hodgson without a ride just days after he topped the timesheets at the recent Daytona test.