JIR frozen out by Honda

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The JIR team that has run Andrea Dovizioso in his impressive rookie campaign looks certain to be frozen out by Honda for the 2009 MotoGP world championship.

Team boss Gianluca Montiron confirmed that he is likely to quit MotoGP at the end of the season, claiming Honda is refusing to supply him with an RC212V.

With JIR and Scot, who collaborated for 2008, announcing their split back at the Laguna Seca round in late July, the two have both been trying to secure the lease of an RC212V machine off HRC for next season.

And it appears that Scot has won the battle, with their bid strengthened by the fact that is willing to promote Japanese rider Yuki Takahashi from the 250GP class.

The move has left Montiron, who formed JIR in 2004, out in the cold, though he is now eyeing a possible move to run Aprilia’s World Superbike team with Max Biaggi.

Speaking to MCN on the eve of this weekend’s Japanese GP at the Twin Ring Motegi, where Honda is expected to confirm its 2009 line-up, said: “It looks like a different company to JIR will be allocated a machine. I am fighting with HRC because I have some documents that gave the priority to me.

"At the end they didn’t consider this document and they decided what they want. For me it is a very unfair situation. But this is the game we play but now I am looking at other possibilities even though it is very late.”

Montiron, who had wanted to sign Ben Spies but also held talks with Nicky Hayden and Sete Gibernau, added that it was unlikely he would persuade HRC to supply a bike, despite rumours that Honda would actually commit to running seven bikes in 2009.

“I was told at the beginning of September that I wouldn’t be getting a machine without a reason why. I have the right to keep my bike so this is a Honda problem if they want to provide six or seven. According to the document I have they must give me priority. I haven’t requested a seventh bike because I believe I should have one of the six.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt