Motegi MotoGP: JIR confirms Honda split

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JIR team boss Gianluca Montiron has confirmed his squad will split from Honda at the end of the season, as was reported by MCN earlier this week.

The decision comes after Honda refused to supply the Monaco-based with an RC212V machine for the 2009 campaign.

JIR has been frozen out by HRC after its split from 2008 partner Scot earlier this season. The outcome of the split saw JIR and Scot both vying to lease an RC212 machine for 2009, but Scot won the battle by agreeing to promote Yuki Takahashi from the 250 class.

In a statement released today, Montiron said he was reviewing the sporting and commercial strategy of JIR for 2009.

And in a parting shot at Honda, Montiron said: “We have come to the time to finally turn the page and look forward to new projects, new motivation and a new manufacturer in which we can believe.

Montiron is now expected to move to World Superbikes and run Aprilia’s new factory team. He previously worked with Aprilia and new signing Max Biaggi in the 250 class.

He added: “It is now time to turn the page because I have a different vision and projects and it’s the best moment to close the chapter of our important collaboration with Honda Racing Corporation, which has been full of sporting and commercial success. It is a question of motivation as well as choice.

"I am thinking of the 2003 season when my project brought Bridgestone into MotoGP alongside the Japanese rider Makoto Tamada. I remember with pleasure and pride a year of success in 2004, the year of the Camel Honda Team, with Tamada once more. And I cannot forget three very important seasons as the Konica Minolta Honda team.

"This was a project which was solid and successful both commercially and sporting. And of course I also want to consider this year, which saw the emergence of Andrea Dovizioso into the top level of MotoGP and the effort and dedication that has been made daily as we try to battle with the best teams and riders in the championship.

"However, nowadays for private teams there is no chance of winning races, and my target is to repeat the success of the past. Therefore I feel it is better for players such as us to quit rather than simply make up the numbers on the grid.”

Montiron said he would unveil his 2009 plans at the end of the season.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt