Honda Motor Co., Ltd. has finalized its Motorcycle Racing Plans for 2006, as outlined below.
Honda's spirit of challenge is rooted in its motorsport activities. By constantly striving to fulfill its own dreams and aspirations through the ongoing challenge of leading-edge innovation, Honda aims to share dreams and excitement with its customers.
For the 2006 motorcycle racing season, Honda has set its sights on securing the championship in each category as well as on the new challenge of winning with next-generation teams featuring young riders in the World Championship MotoGP class, the top class of world championship road racing.
■FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix
In the MotoGP class of the Road Race World Championship Grand Prix (WGP), Honda plans to race six RC211V MotoGP machines and to supply engines to one team, with the aim of capturing both the riders・and the manufacturers・titles. Daniel Pedrosa, who moves up to the MotoGP class this year after winning consecutive WGP 250cc class championships in 2004 and 2005, joins the works team of Repsol Honda, competing alongside Nicky Hayden, now in his fourth year as a MotoGP class rider.?
|Repsol Honda||#26||Daniel Pedrosa (Age 20, Spain)|
|#69||Nicky Hayden (Age 24, USA)|
|Fortuna Honda||#24||Toni Elias (Age 22, Spain)|
|#33||Marco Melandri (Age 23, Italy)|
|Konica Minolta Honda Team
|#6||Makoto Tamada (Age 29, Japan)|
|#27||Casey Stoner (Age 20, Australia)|
|#10||Kenny Roberts Jr. (Age 32, USA)|
In the 250cc class, Honda will field four riders and two teams with the RS250RW. Shuhei Aoyama, last year’s All-Japan Championship GP250cc class champion, will participate as the third recipient1 of the Honda Racing Scholarship, started in 2004 to foster young Japanese riders.1. First recipient Hiroshi Aoyama, second recipient Yuki Takahashi?
|Repsol Honda Team 250||#19||Sebastian Porto (Age 27, Argentina)|
|#73||Shuhei Aoyama (Age 21, Japan)|
|Team Scot||#34||Andrea Dovizioso (Age 19, Italy)|
|#55||Yuki Takahashi (Age 21, Japan)|
■MFJ All-Japan Road Race Championship Series
Honda's participation in this year's All-Japan Road Race Championship Series, where it captured the series titles in four classes last year for the second year in a row, will be centered on teams run by Honda dealerships and supported by Honda Motorcycle Japan. The teams will be vying to recapture the series championships in their respective categories, running a CBR1000RR in the JSB1000 class, a CBR600RR in the ST600 class, a RS250R in the GP250 class, and a RS125R in the GP125 class.
*Main Honda teams and their participating riders will be announced by Honda Motorcycle Japan on January 18.
■British Superbike Championship
Due to the success of such riders as Ryuichi Kiyonari, who advanced to the No. 2 spot in the rankings with most season wins, Honda captured the manufacturer's title in the British Superbike (BSB) last year. Honda plans to race two CBR1000RRKs, with the aim of capturing a double title in both the rider's and the manufacturer's categories.
|HM Plant Honda Racing||#2||Ryuichi Kiyonari (Age 23, Japan)|
|#9||Karl Harris (Age 26, UK)|
■MFJ All-Japan Motocross Championship Series
In the All-Japan Motocross Championship Series, Yoshitaka Atsuta, a competitor in the World Championship until last year, has joined the works team TEAM HRC. Honda will enter three Honda CRF450R 4-stroke machines in the All-Japan Motocross -3- Championship Series IA12 class, aiming for the championship.
|TEAM HRC||#86||Yoshitaka Atsuta (Age 28, Japan)|
|#3||Kazumasa Masuda (Age 25, Japan)|
|#952||Yoshihide Fukudome (Age 22, Japan)|
*Other main teams and their participating riders will be announced by Honda Motorcycle Japan on January 18.
2. Displacement limited to 250cc for 2-stroke engines and 450cc for 4-stroke engines
■FIM World Trials Championship Series
For the World Trial Championship Series, Honda will field two Montesa COTA 4RTs equipped with 4-stroke engines in a bid to win the series title in the rider's and the manufacturer's categories.
|Repsol Montesa HRC||#2||Takahisa Fujinami (Age 26, Japan)|
|#3||Dougie Lampkin (Age 29, UK)|
Mountain Bike (MTB) Downhill Races
■ UCI World Cup MTB Downhill/UCI World Championship NORBA National Mountain Bike Series
After taking the UCI World Cup Series title in 2005 in Downhill races overseas, Honda will again race two RN01s in the UCI World Cup MTB Downhill and the NORBA National Mountain Bike Series, with its sights set on capturing the title in each series.
|Team G Cross Honda||#1*3||Greg Minnaar (Age 25, South Africa)|
|#11*3||Matti Lehikoinen (Age 21, Finland)|
3. Entry numbers for the UCI World Cup MTB Downhill
■JCF Mountain Bike Japan Series/All-Japan Championship
After winning the series titles last year in the JCF Mountain Bike Japan Series races, Honda will enter two RN01s, the machine that has been champion for the past two years, with the aim of winning the series titles for another consecutive year.
|Team G Cross Honda||#1||Naoki Idegawa (Age 25, Japan)|
|#2||Ryo Uchijima (Age 29, Japan)|