US MotoGP: Honda confirms Yuki Takahashi departure

Published: 02 July 2009

Honda has confirmed that it has reluctantly axed Japanese rider Yuki Takahashi from the satellite Scot team with immediate effect. As was expected despite Takahashi’s arrival in California on Tuesday afternoon, he will no longer ride for the Scot Honda, his departure confirmed on the eve of this weekend’s Laguna Seca race, round eight of the 2009 world championship. HRC Vice President Shuhei Nakamoto confirmed that the cash-strapped Scot squad could not continue to run a two-rider effort, with Hungarian Gabor Talmacsi joining the team in Catalunya because of the sponsorship he could bring. Hit hard by the global financial crisis, Scot Honda tried to secure additional backing to keep 24-year-old Takahashi on an RC212V without success. But with no success, not even Takahashi’s nationality and close association with HRC could save him from the axe. The former 250GP race winner though had endured a baptism of fire in MotoGP, twice crashing out on the opening lap in the first seven races. “For Honda as well as the Scot Racing Team, this is a sad announcement,” said Nakamoto. “But we understand that the extremely challenging financial circumstances facing the team left them with no choice. Takahashi was the only Japanese rider in the MotoGP championship and of course Honda wanted to see him continue. But in the end the team made it clear that this outcome was impossible and we respect their decision. Honda will continue to support the Scot Racing Team in MotoGP with Gabor Talmacsi riding.”