Honda 2009 Motorcycle Racing Plans

TOKYO, Japan, January 27, 2009 - Honda Motor Co., Ltd. has announced its motorcycle racing plans for 2009, as outlined below.

With its motorsports activities as the symbol of Honda's challenging spirit, the company has competed in a variety of races since the days of it's founding, aiming for the top level in the world. Constantly striving to fulfill big dreams and high aspirations, Honda has pursued the challenge of leading-edge innovation.

In 1954, Soichiro Honda, the company's founder, announced Honda's intention to take part in the Isle of Man T.T. Race, a Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix (WGP) race. Honda started competing in the WGP five years later in 1959. In 1961, only the company's third season, Honda succeeded in dominating the 125cc and 250cc classes of the Isle of Man T.T. Race, winning the top five positions in both classes. Honda also earned its first rider's and manufacturer's titles in both the 125cc and 250cc classes, titles the company had eagerly awaited. Since then, Honda has taken on challenges in a variety of motorcycle race categories.

For 2009, the 50th anniversary of the start of Honda participation in the WGP, the company has set its sights on recapturing the championship in the MotoGP class, the top WGP class. Honda will tackle this challenge by drawing on its advanced technologies. Honda aims to continue working on new endeavors with the know-how it has accumulated up to now, along with the spirit of challenge fostered through these motorsports activities, with the hope of sharing the dreams and excitement from these activities with its customers.

**[Road Races]

  • FIM*1 Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix
    MotoGP class**
    Honda has set its sights on recapturing the three championship titles of rider, manufacturer and team in the MotoGP class, the top class of the Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix (WGP), with a total of six riders competing, including satellite team members. Honda plans to race six RC212V machines, which have been further evolved with state-of-the-art technologies.

The Repsol Honda works team will compete with two riders: Dani Pedrosa, in his forth year in the MotoGP class, and Andrea Dovizioso, Pedrosa's new works team teammate. Yuki Takahashi moves up from the 250cc to the MotoGP class this season to compete as a satellite team member. As the only Japanese rider in the MotoGP class, expectations for his success in the series are high.

*1: FIM stands for Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme.

Team Number Rider Age Nationality 2008 Result
Repsol Honda Team 3 Dani Pedrosa 23 Spain MotoGP 3rd
Repsol Honda Team 4 Andrea Dovizioso 22 Italy MotoGP 5th
Team San Carlo Honda Gresini 15 Alex De Angelis 25 San Marino MotoGP 14th
Team San Carlo Honda Gresini 24 Toni Elias 25 Spain MotoGP 12th
Scot Racing Team MotoGP 72 Yuki Takahashi 24 Saitama, Japan WGP 250cc 5th
LCR Honda MotoGP 14 Randy De Puniet 27 France MotoGP 15th

250cc class
In the 250cc class, Honda will field six riders from a total of four teams. Hiroshi Aoyama, Raffaele De Rosa and Ratthapark Wilairot will ride the RS250RW. Moving up to the world championship series this season for a greater challenge is Shoya Tomizawa, who until last year, competed in the GP250 class of the All-Japan Road Race Championship Series. Tomizawa, along with Bastien Chesaux and Toni Wirsing, will take part in the race on an RS250R.

||||||| |---|---|---|---|---|---| || |Team|Number|Rider|Age|Nationality|2008 Result| Scot Racing Team 250cc4Hiroshi Aoyama27Chiba, JapanWGP 250cc 7th|Scot Racing Team 250cc|35|Raffaele De Rosa|21|Italy|WGP 125cc 18th| |Thai Honda PPT SAG|14|Ratthapark Wilairot|20|Thailand|WGP 250cc 13th| |CIP Moto-GP250|48|Shoya Tomizawa|18|Chiba, Japan|All-Japan RR Championship GP250 2nd| |Racing Team Germany|8|Bastien Chesaux|17|Switzerland|-| |Racing Team Germany|9|Toni Wirsing|18|Germany|-|

**[Trials]

  • FIM World Trials Championship Series**
    For the FIM World Trials Championship Series (WCT), Honda will run two Montesa COTA 4RTs equipped with highly competitive 4-stroke engines. With riders Toni Bou, champion for the last two years, and Takahisa Fujinami, the only Japanese rider competing in the WCT, Honda aims to capture the rider's title for the third consecutive year and its fourth consecutive manufacturer's title.
Team Number Rider Age Nationality 2008 Result
REPSOL MONTESA HRC 1 Toni Bou 22 Spain Champion
REPSOL MONTESA HRC 3 Takahisa Fujinami 29 Mie, Japan 3rd

Reference information

  • Main Honda teams and riders participating in the MFJ All-Japan Championship Series racesIn a collaboration between the Honda Racing Corporation and the technical staff of the Motorcycle R&D; Center of Honda R&D; Co., Ltd., Honda Motorcycle Japan will sponsor the "Honda Racing Family Racing Service" for all Honda riders participating in each road race or motocross event of the MFJ All-Japan Championship Series, where they will support the racing activities of Honda riders by providing machine setting service and advice on riding techniques. For the All-Japan Trial Championship, Honda Racing Corporation will provide support to teams and riders, especially those belonging to HRC Clubs under HRC service shops.

[Road racing]MFJ*2 All-Japan Road Race Championship Series
*2: MFJ stands for Motorcycle Federation of Japan.

  • Major teams/riders for All Japan Road Racing Championship
Team Class Bike Rider 2008 Result
MUSHASHI RT HARC-PRO. JSB1000 CBR1000RRK Tatsuya Yamaguchi JRR JSB1000 4th
F.C.C. TSR Honda JSB1000 CBR1000RRK Kosuke Akyiyoshi*3 JRR JSB1000 5th
KEIHIN Kohara Racing Team & TSR JSB1000 CBR1000RRK Shinichi Ito JRR JSB1000 7th
Team Sakurai Honda JSB1000 CBR1000RR Chojun Kameya JRR JSB1000 8th
Burning Blood RT JSB1000 CBR1000RR Takumi Takahashi JRR GP250 Champion
MUSASHI RT HARC-PRO ST600 CBR600RR Yoshiteru Konishi JRR ST600 Champion|MUSHASHI RT HARC-PRO|ST600|CBR600RR|Ryuta Kobayashi|JRR ST600 3rd
Burning Blood RT ST600 CBR600RR Makoto Inagaki JRR ST600 4th
Teluru Honeybee Racing ST600 CBR600RR Hiroki Noda JRR ST600 6th
KEIHIN Kohara Racing Team ST600 CBR600RR Koki Takahashi JRR ST600 10th
TSR ST600 CBR600RR Satoru Iwata JRR ST600 14th
DyDo miu Racing Team ST600 CBR600RR Hiromichi Kunikawa JRR ST600 21st|TSR|ST600|CBR600RR|Yusuke Teshima|JRR JSB1000 14th
Team name to be arranged GP125 RS125R Hiroyuki Kikuchi JRR GP125 Champion
BATTLE FACTORY GP125 RS125R Hiroki Ono JRR GP125 3rd
Honda Suzuka Racing Team GP125 RS125R Iori Namihira JRR GP125 4th
TEAM PLUS ONE GP125 RS125R Ryota Yamada JRR GP125 5th
18 GARAGE RACING TEAM GP125 RS125R Yuichi Yanagisawa JRR GP125 6th
Team NOBBY GP125 RS125R Daijiro Hiura JRR GP125 8th
DyDo miu Racing Team GP125 RS125R Hiroomi Iwata JRR GP125 10th
TSR GP-MONO CRF250 Kenta Fujii JRR GP-MONO 2nd
MOTO WIN RACING GP-MONO HP250F Hitoshi Kobata JRR GP-MONO 10th

*3 Wild card

  • GP-MONO racing bikes are made by constructors using CRF250R engines.

  • This information is provisional and subject to change.

**[Motocross racing]

  • MFJ All-Japan Motocross Championship Series**

  • Major teams/riders for All Japan Motocross Championship

Team Class Bike Rider 2008 Result
DREAM Honda RT Masuda IA1 CRF450R Kazumasa Masuda JMX IA1 3rd
DREAM Honda RT Ogata IA1 CRF450R Makoto Ogata JMX IA1 8th
DREAM Honda RT Fukudome IA1 CRF450R Yoshihide Fukudome JMX IA1 10th
CarLife with T.E. Sport IA1 CRF450R Kenjiro Tsuji JMX IA1 13th
TEAM HAMMER IA1 CRF450R Ryuichiro Takahama JMX IA1 20th
DREAM Honda RT Hirata IA2 CRF250R Yu Hirata JMX IA2 2nd
SEKI Racing MotoRoman IA2 CRF250R Kouichi Fukaya JMX IA2 5th
SEKI Racing MotoRoman IA2 CRF250R Yuui Hoshino JMX IA2 8th
CarLife with T.E. SPORT IA2 CRF250R Toshiki Tomita JMX IA2 13th
SEKI Racing MotoRoman IA2 CRF250R Hayato Deguchi JMX IA2 28th
TEAM HAMMER IA2 CRF250R Hikaru Matsushita JMX IA2
SEKI Racing MotoRoman Ladies CRF150R Haruna Masu JMX Ladies Champion
Honda DREAM RT Tarumi Ladies CRF150R Izumi Yamamoto JMX Ladies 3rd
  • IA1 class (2 stroke : 175cc250cc, 4 stroke : 290cc450cc)

  • IA2 class (2 stroke : 100cc125cc, 4 stroke : 175cc250cc)

  • Ladies class (Maximum displacement for 2 stroke : 85cc, 4 stroke : 150cc)

  • This information is provisional and subject to change.

**[Trials]

  • MFJ All-Japan Trials Championship Series**

  • Major teams/riders for All Japan Trial Championship

Team Class Bike Rider 2008 Result
HRC CLUB TEAM MITANI IAS RTL260F Tomoyuki Ogawa JTR IAS 2nd
HRC CLUB TEAM MITANI IAS RTL260F Takeshi Ogawa JTR IAS 4th|HRC CLUB Power Craft|IAS|RTL260F|Kazuhiro Onishi|JTR IAS 8th
HRC CLUB TEAM MITANI IAS RTL260F Hideaki Mitani JTR IAS 10th
HRC CLUB TEAM MITANI IAS RTL260F Akira Shibata JTR IA 2nd
HRC CLUB TEAM MITANI IAS RTL260F Akio Saito JTR IA 4th
HRC CLUB Kanto SW Maruyama IA RTL260F Diasuke Tsukuda JTR IA 5th
HRC CLUB Cruise IA RTL260F Takashi Ono JTR IA 6th
HRC CLUB Kanto SW Maruyama IA RTL260F Masatoshi Okamura JTR IA 8th
HRC CLUB TOM'S & Namita IA RTL260F Chikao Namita JTR IA 18th
HRC CLUB Kanto SW Maruyama IA RTL260F Masanori Onoda JTR IB Champion
  • IAS : International Super-A Class, IA : International A Class

  • This information is provisional and subject to change.

**[FIM Endurance World Championship Series]

  • Suzuka 8 Hours World Endurance Championship Race**

For the 32nd Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance Road Race, Honda plans to provide support to the following two private teams through loaning each team a machine with equivalent performance to a works machine.

  • F.C.C. TSR

  • MUSASHI RT HARC-PRO.

  • This information is provisional and subject to change.

  • Main Honda teams and riders participating in the World Superbike (WSB) Championship, the World Supersport (WSS) Championship and the World Motocross (WMX) Championship, with support from Honda Motor Europe Ltd.

A total of six riders will take part in the World Superbike (WSB) Championship as members of private teams supported by overseas subsidiary Honda Motor Europe Ltd. (HME), including Ryuichi Kiyonari, Carlos Checa and Jonathan Rea on even more competitive CBR1000RRs. Having started competing in the WSB last season, Ryuichi Kiyonari will draw on last year's experience in the series and excellent riding skills to aim for the championship title. Carlos Checa, Kiyonari's teammate and friendly rival, also competed as a rookie in the WSB last season and will spend his second year in the WSB capitalizing on his wealth of experience in racing. Jonathan Rea moves up to the WSB this year after competing in the World Supersport (WSS) Championship Series and ranking second last season. Expectations for his success in the future are high.

For the World Supersport (WSS) Championship, Honda will continue its activities through support from HME as was done for WSB. Honda riders include Andrew Pitt, last year's champion, and Kenan Sofuoglu, who is returning to the WSS after winning the championship in 2007 and competing in the WSB last season. Anthony West comes to the WSS, a new category for competition for him, after having competed in MotoGP races until last year. Including these riders, a total of eight riders will compete in the WSS this season. In each of the seven years since 2002, Honda has won the WSS championship, building up an unshakable position in the series with rider skills, machine performance and teamwork that overwhelm other teams. Honda will again aim for the championship this season with the further evolved CBR600RR.

For the World Motocross (WMX) Championship as well, HME will provide support to two teams in the MX1 class, the top class in the series. A total of four riders will ride CRF450Rs: Billy Mackenzie and Marc de Reuver, back to compete again after last season, and new team members, Cedric Melotte and Kevin Strijbos.

  • Major team/rider for World Super Bike Championship (WSB)
Category Team Bike Rider 2008 Result
Ten Kate Racing CBR1000RR Ryuichi Kiyonari WSB 9th
HANNspree Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR Carlos Checa WSB 4th
WSB HANNspree Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR Jonathan Rea WSS 2nd
HANNspree Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR Tommy Hill WSS
Stiggy Motorsport AB CBR1000RR Leon Haslam BSB (British Superbike) 2nd
Stiggy Motorsport AB CBR1000RR Roberto Rolfo WSB 17th
  • This information is provisional and subject to change.

  • Major teams/riders for World Super Sports Championship (WSS)

|||||| |---|---|---|---|---| || |Category|Team|Bike|Rider|2008 Result| ||HANNspree Ten Kate Honda|CBR600RR|Andrew Pitt|WSS Champion| HANNspree Ten Kate HondaCBR600RRKenan SofuogluWSB 18th||HANNspree Honda Althea|CBR600RR|Mark Aitchison|WSS 13th| |WSS|HANNspree Honda Althea|CBR600RR|Matthieu Lagrive|WSS 14th| ||Stiggy Motorsport AB|CBR600RR|Anthony West|MotoGP 18th| ||Stiggy Motorsport AB|CBR600RR|Gianclua Vizziello|WSS 11th| ||Parklgar Honda|CBR600RR|Miguel Praia|WSS 25th| ||Parkalgar Honda|CBR600RR|Eugene Laverty|WSS 21th|

  • This information is provisional and subject to change.

  • Major teams/riders for World Motocross Championship (WMX)

Category Team Bike Rider 2008 Result
CAS Honda Team CRF450R Billy Mackenzie MX1 9th
CAS Honda Team CRF450R Cedric Melotte MX1 30th
WMX Martin Racing Team CRF450R Marc de Reuver MX1 10th
Martin Racing Team CRF450R Kevin Stri j Bos MX1 24th
  • MX1(2 stroke : under 250cc, 4 stroke : under 450cc)

  • This information is provisional and subject to change.

A logo commemorating the 50th anniversary of Honda's participation in the WGP is attached to the machines and to the uniforms of the riders in each race.