Honda reshuffle factory team for 2010

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Desperate to win its first MotoGP title of the 800cc era and first premier class crown since 2006, Honda unveiled a new management structure during last week’s winter test session at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia.

One of the most significant changes is the creation of a new Technical Director role, which will be filled by Shinichi Kokubu.

He was previously project leader of the RC212V machine and primarily based at Honda’s headquarters in Japan who made only the odd visit to the paddock during the season.

But he will now attend all pre-season tests and all 18 races during 2010 to have a more hands on role in the direction of development and using feedback directly relayed back from Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso to improve the RC212V machine.

HRC has also adopted a similar management structure to the one currently employed by the rival Fiat Yamaha team.

Pedrosa and Dovizioso will be managed individually now, with former Repsol Honda Team Manager Kazuhiko Yamano now in the new role of Team Director.

Overseeing Spaniard Pedrosa’s side of the garage will be his personal manager and mentor Alberto Puig.

And managing Dovizioso’s garage will be Gianni Berti.

Yamaha introduced a split management structure in 2008 when Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo were on different tyre brands.

The structure was retained for 2009 when Lorenzo joined Rossi on Bridgestone tyres. Rossi’s garage is run by Davide Brivio while Lorenzo’s pit is now overseen by Cal Crutchlow’s former World Supersport team boss Wilco Zeelenberg.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt