Honda’s new development works 250 GP bike has hit a crisis before it has even been raced as the team it was to be run in this season teeters on the brink of collapse.
The RS250R-W, which is due to replace the NSR250, was due to be run by Spaniard Alex Debon in the Shell Advance team managed by Jeff Hardwick.
Hardwick, who ran Leon Haslam and Chris Walker last year in the 500 class, admitted today he was on the verge of withdrawing the team from the world 250 championship.
" I would be really disappointed if it came down to this, but it may be financially unsound for us to continue, " he said.
" One of our main sponsors has said that they may not be able to continue, " he added.
The team was to head the development of the new Honda RS250R-W works bike and testing had already commenced in Japan with Debon.
" To go this far then have to pull out would be a disaster " Hardwick added:
" I will be in Japan and Australia this week to try to solve the problem. "
Whatever happens I will still be involved in Grand Prix as team manager of the Pramac MotoGP team with Tetsuya Harada. Although I no longer own the 500 team, I am looking forward to 2002 and working with Tetsuya."