Honda to offer higher spec lease machines in 2010

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Honda will give its independent teams the chance to lease an RC212V machine almost identical to the spec run by its factory team in 2010 to help them survive the worldwide economic crisis.

In a bid to make Honda’s teams like LCR and Gresini more attractive to sponsors, HRC is willing to build all of its bikes close to a factory spec next season.

But the chance of running a higher spec RC212V won’t come cheap. LCR Honda boss Lucio Cecchinello confirmed he had been given the option to lease a factory spec V4 next season, but the lease cost would increase by between 10 and 20 per cent.

The upgraded bike spec for satellite teams is a major change in Honda policy and has been heavily influenced by new HRC Vice President Shuhei Nakamoto.

Honda normally leases year old bikes to its satellite teams, with updated parts filtered through the season.

Cecchinello told MCN: “We clearly gave Nakamoto our feeling that it would be crucial for our survival in the future to have as close as possible the same bike spec as the factory team.

“We can’t expect exactly the same bike with all the evolution parts during the season but it seems that Nakamoto is thinking to prepare the six or eight bikes delivered in January to be with the same spec. It means the technical gap will be much reduced.

“Normally we race with the previous years bike spec and during the season we have just a small chance to have evolution parts. Next year the bike spec will be the same or very close.”

The machine spec a team can lease will be totally dependent on budget and Cecchinello, who added: “Honda has made a verbal proposal. They can supply a good bike with similar costs to this year or they can supply a higher spec bike for more costs.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt