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February 4, 2011

Honda 2011 Motorsports Overview

February 4, 2011 – Honda Motor Co., Ltd. announced the key features of its 2011 motorsports program, including its motorsports strategy and initiatives for expanding the popularity of motorsports.

2011 Honda Motorsports Announcement Press Conference zoom
2011 Honda Motorsports Announcement Press Conference

1. Motorsports Strategy

In its motorsports activities, the symbol of Honda's challenging spirit, the company has aimed for the world's top level from the days of its founding and taken on challenges in a variety of racing categories. With the know-how and enhanced challenging spirit cultivated through its motorsports activities, Honda will continue developing activities that meet more customers' expectations and bring joy to customers in each racing category.

•Motorcycle activities

In the MotoGP, the premier class of the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix (WGP), the Repsol Honda factory team will have a new lineup consisting of three riders, with Casey Stoner now joining Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso. With the machine "RC212V" that has been developed to offer more performance, the trio is raring to retake the championship. Through a reinforced team structure and enhanced machines, Honda is targeting to win all three championship titles, capturing the rider's title as well as the team and constructor's. The only Japanese rider to compete in the MotoGP class this season will be Hiroshi Aoyama, who has now moved to Team San Carlo Honda Gresini to compete in his second year of the MotoGP class.

In the Moto2 class, established as a new WGP racing series last season, Honda will again this year actively support this class as its sole official engine supplier and by fostering the talent of up-and-coming riders. Yuki Takahashi has now joined the Gresini Racing Moto2 team in the Moto2 class, competing this season as the sole Japanese rider in this class.

Repsol Montesa Honda will compete again this year in the FIM World Trial Championship Series (WCT). The two riders competing from Honda in this series will be Toni Bou, who saw success in winning the championship for the fourth straight year last season, and Takahisa Fujinami, currently the only Japanese rider racing in the World Trial Championship.

Honda will carry out a wide range of racing activities that include Suzuka 8hours Endurance Road Race, all categories of the All-Japan Championship Series, and international championships such as the World Superbike Championship (WSB) and the British Superbike Championship (BSB), where Ryuichi Kiyonari won the championship last season. Honda aims for the highest position in each race in which it competes.

•Automobile activities

In Japan, Honda will compete in the Super GT Series GT500 Class with the "HSV-010 GT", the machine that gave Honda the dual titles of driver's and team championships last season, again entering five teams and five race machines this year. Capitalizing on the improved vehicle dynamics in the 2011 model to make it an even more competitive machine, Honda is targeting for its second consecutive dual-title victory.

Honda will also enter four teams in Formula Nippon and equip six cars with the 3.4-liter V-8 "HR10E" engine, now with even higher combustion efficiency while achieving higher output and greater fuel efficiency. Competing with vehicles equipped with Honda engines, the teams will battle to win back the dual titles of driver's and team championships.

In North America, Honda has supplied engines to the IndyCar® Series since 2003, through Honda Performance Development, Inc. (HPD). As the sole engine supplier to the category since 2006, Honda will provide all teams again this year with a V-8 "HI11R" engine running on 100% ethanol fuel. As a Japanese driver fully participating in IndyCar® Series, Takuma Sato will be racing his second season in the series, driving for KV Racing Technology-Lotus.

In the American Le Mans Series, Honda will supply the new 2.8-liter V-6 twin turbo engine that was developed by HPD based on a mass production engine. In the Le Mans Series in Europe and the 24 Hours of Le Mans (24 Heures du Mans), Honda will supply the "ARX-01d", a vehicle developed by Honda and equipped with a 2.8-liter V-6 twin turbo engine.

2. Expanding the Popularity of Motorsports

Honda's program to expand the popularity of motorsports includes a wide variety of activities with the objective of communicating the attractiveness of motorsports to a broad spectrum of fans around the world. These activities range from world-class races such as the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix (WGP) to various events that the whole family can enjoy in a casual setting. This year, Honda will continue to push forward with activities for expanding the popularity of motorsports, allowing people to feel more at home experiencing and taking part in motorsports themselves.

•Mobilityland hosting world premier races

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Mobilityland Corporation. Mobilityland will honor this year of significance by hosting racing events and actively creating venues and numerous opportunities for people to watch, participate in, and enjoy racing, contributing toward further growth of the Japanese motorsports culture.

At Twin Ring Motegi, Mobilityland will host the FIM Road Racing World Championship and the FIM World Trial Championship Series. At Suzuka Circuit, Mobilityland will once again host the FIM Endurance World Championship (EWC) plus the FIA Formula One World Championship, and will also add the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) starting this year.

Through these races, the company will continue providing fans with opportunities to watch and feel numerous Japanese and international motorsports events including these premier two- and four-wheel races.

•Main international races to be hosted by Mobilityland

Category Schedule Title Circuit
WGP April 22-24
(Fri. - Sun.)
2011 FIM*1 Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix
Round 3 Grand Prix of Japan
Twin Ring Motegi, Tochigi
WCT June 4-5
(Sat. - Sun.)
2011 FIM Trial World Championship
Round 3 Grand Prix of Japan
Twin Ring Motegi, Tochigi
EWC July 28-31
(Thu. - Sun.)
2011 FIM Endurance World Championship
Round 3 Suzuka 8hours Endurance Road Race
Suzuka Circuit,
Mie
IndyCar® Series September 16-18
(Fri. - Sun.)
2011 IndyCar® Series
Round 15 Indy® Japan 300 mile
Twin Ring Motegi, Tochigi
F1 October 7-9
(Fri. - Sun.)
2011 FIA*2 Formula One World Championship
Round 16 Japanese Grand Prix
Suzuka Circuit,
Mie
WTCC October 22-23
(Sat. - Sun.)
2011 FIA World Touring Car Championship
Race of Japan
Suzuka Circuit,
Mie
*1
FIM: Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme
*2
FIA: Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile

•Enjoy Honda 2011

With the purpose of providing more opportunities for people to watch, participate in and enjoy activities related to Honda motorcycles, automobiles and power products, the Enjoy Honda program, a fan appreciation event, will be held again this year. Enjoy Honda 2011 is scheduled for Suzuka Circuit at the same time as automobile and motorcycle races (MFJ All-Japan Road Racing Championship Series, Round 2 and Formula Nippon, Round 1), and for Twin Ring Motegi at the same time as Formula Nippon, Round 5.

The Enjoy Honda program for each date may include exhibitions of Honda motorcycles, automobiles and power products, parent-and-child motorcycle lessons, live events featuring demonstrations of ASIMO, and Craft Classes from the Forest.*3

*3
The actual program differs according to venue. For more details, please see the official Enjoy Honda website at http://www.honda.co.jp/enjoyhonda/

•Enjoy Honda 2011 schedule

Schedule Event name Circuit
April 16-17
(Sat. - Sun.)
Enjoy Honda SUZUKA 2011 Suzuka Circuit, Mie
May 14-15
(Sat. - Sun.)
Enjoy Honda KYUSHU 2011 Honda Safety & Riding PLAZA Kyushu, Kumamoto
August 6-7
(Sat. - Sun.)
Enjoy Honda MOTEGI 2011 Twin Ring Motegi, Tochigi
Planned schedule as of February 4, 2011

•2011 Honda Eco Mileage Challenge

Since 1981, Honda has hosted Honda Eco Mileage Challenge, an event that highlights the environment. Participants combine their creativity, free imagination, and technology to create their own handcrafted vehicles, and then compete in them to see how far they can travel on 1 liter of fuel. The Honda Eco Mileage Challenge will mark its 31st year this year. In past years, a total of 11,966 teams have participated in events that offer opportunities to enjoy the fun of creationwhile thinking about the preciousness of gasoline, one of our limited natural resources. From junior high school students to adults, people from a wide range of ages have taken part in this event.

The Honda Eco Mileage Challenge events have been held not only in Japan but also in such countries as Thailand, China and Vietnam. Honda aims to further promote the events as a part of its global activities for expanding the popularity of motorsports. Teams from these countries will participate in the national competition to be held at Twin Ring Motegi in October 2011. Honda Eco Mileage Challenge has gained widespread recognition in society as an opportunity to raise public awareness about conservation of the global environment with participants challenging the limits of fuel economy.

•Honda Eco Mileage Challenge 2011: Schedule in Japan

Schedule Event name Circuit
June 18 (Sat.) 25th Honda Eco Mileage Challenge 2011, Suzuka East Circuit,
Suzuka Circuit, Mie
July 24 (Sun.) 27th Honda Eco Mileage Challenge 2011, Kyushu Circuit Course,
Honda Safety & Riding PLAZA Kyushu, Kumamoto
August 27 (Sat.) 3rd Honda Eco Mileage Challenge 2011, Motegi West Road Course,
Twin Ring Motegi, Tochigi
October 1-2
(Sat. - Sun.)
Oct. 1: Practice runs
Oct. 2: Finals
31st Soichiro Honda Cup
Honda Eco Mileage Challenge 2011
National Competition
Super Speedway,
Twin Ring Motegi, Tochigi
The event name was changed to Honda Eco Mileage Challenge starting in 2010. The number before each regional event or national event above includes past events held under the previous name.

•Honda "Enjoy Kids Rider"

This program features events for children on Pinky Bike and Kid's Bike, popular attractions at the amusement facilities at Suzuka Circuit and Twin Ring Motegi. The purpose of the program is to actively offer the chance for children including small kids to have contact with vehicles, so that "mobility" will be familiar and enjoyable to more children from their first-hand experiences. With the aim of offering these experiences to more children, the Honda "Enjoy Kids Rider" started last year, when it was held at specially established sites around Japan as well as at Suzuka Circuit and Twin Ring Motegi. A total of 2,821 childrentook part in eight of these events, held at five such sites last year.

Once again this year, Shinya Nakano, a former WGP rider, has been appointed captain of the Caravan Crew that will circulate among various sites in Japan. Through this program, Honda will continue to make a contribution toward the development of a more mature mobility culture.

•2011 Honda "Enjoy Kids Rider" event schedule

Schedule Other events held at the same time Circuit
April 9-10
(Sat. - Sun.)
Honda DREAM Test Ride Festa Maishima Sports Island, Osaka
May 14-15
(Sat. - Sun.)
Enjoy Honda KYUSHU 2011 Honda Safety & Riding PLAZA Kyushu, Kumamoto
Planned schedule as of February 4, 2011.

<Overview of Motorcycle Racing Strategy>

[Road Races]

•FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix Series

<MotoGP class>

Honda will compete again this year in the MotoGP class, the premier class of the Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix Series (WGP), which is the world's top-level motorcycle race, and take on the challenge of winning all three championship titles, by recapturing the rider's title as well as the team and constructor's titles. Honda will race the "RC212V" machines, which have undergone a thorough review of each section of the vehicle in pursuit of the optimal center of gravity and further improving cornering performance.

The Repsol Honda factory team will now compete with three riders—Casey Stoner will join Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso to augment the team's total ability for winning back championship titles.

The satellite teams will consist of two teams with a total of three riders. Marco Simoncelli and Hiroshi Aoyama will compete for Team San Carlo Honda Gresini. Racing for LCR Honda MotoGP will be Toni Elias, who took the honors as the first champion of the newly established Moto2 class last season, and will once again compete in this premier class.

Team Number Rider Age Nationality 2010 Result
Repsol Honda Team 26 Dani Pedrosa 25 Spain MotoGP 2nd
4 Andrea Dovizioso 24 Italy MotoGP 5th
27 Casey Stoner 25 Australia MotoGP 4th
Team San Carlo Honda Gresini 58 Marco Simoncelli 24 Italy MotoGP 8th
7 Hiroshi Aoyama 29 Chiba, Japan MotoGP 15th
LCR Honda MotoGP 24 Toni Elias 27 Spain Moto2 Champion

<Moto2 class>

Honda will again support the Moto2 class, established as a new WGP racing class last season, as its sole official engine supplier and encouragethis class to develop the talent of up-and-coming riders. All the machines of every team will be powered by the engine derived from the in-line 4-cylinder engine of the commercially sold "CBR600RR" supersports model and developed exclusively for the Moto2 class. About 40 machines competed in each of the Moto2 races last season, which featured exciting battles in every race. Honda's support for this class will encompass the supply of its highly reliable engines, boasting uniform quality and minimal variation among individual engines.

Yuki Takahashi will be the only Japanese rider in this class, after moving to Gresini Racing Moto2 this year, and will now compete in his second Moto2 campaign.

Team Number Rider Age Nationality 2010 Result
Gresini Racing Moto2 72 Yuki Takahashi 26 Saitama, Japan Moto2 12th

[FIM Endurance World Championship Series]

•Suzuka 8hours Endurance Road Race

To heighten the attraction of the 34th Suzuka 8hours Endurance Road Race, Honda plans to enter riders who are active in international championship races. These riders are expected to come from such teams as F. C. C. TSR Honda and MuSASHi RT HARC-PRO., which have competed in the Suzuka 8hours on many occasions.

Honda Racing Corporation (HRC) will provide technical support to these teams through such measures as loaning the highly competitive "CBR1000RR".

•FIM World Superbike Championship Series(WSB)

The Castrol Honda World Superbike Team will compete in the World Superbike Championship Series (WSB) by riding the "CBR1000RR", through the support provided by Honda Motor Europe Ltd. (HME).

Team Number Machine Rider 2010 Result
Castrol Honda World Superbike Team 4 CBR1000RR Jonathan Rea WSB 4th
111 CBR1000RR Ruben Xaus WSB 15th

•British Superbike Championship Series (BSB)

Two riders, Ryuichi Kiyonari and Shane Byrne, will compete in the British Superbike Championship Series(BSB) as members of the HM Plant Honda team of the Honda U.K. local subsidiary. Kiyonari won the BSB championship for the third time last season, while Byrne competed in WSB last year.

Team Number Machine Rider 2010 Result
HM Plant Honda 1 CBR1000RR Ryuichi Kiyonari BSB Champion
67 CBR1000RR Shane Byrne WSB 10th

[Motocross Racing]

•World Motocross Championship Series(WMX)

With support provided by Honda Motor Europe Ltd. (HME), the Honda World Motocross Team will ride the "CRF450R" to compete in the MX1 class, the premier class of the FIM World Motocross Championship Series (WMX).

Team Class Number Machine Rider 2010 Result
Honda World Motocross Team MX1 777 CRF450R Evgeny Bobryschev MX1 10th
999 CRF450R Rui Goncalves MX1 11th
MX1 includes engine displacements of 2-stroke/175cc–250cc and 4-stroke/290cc–450cc.
Entry list is provisional and subject to change.

•MFJ*4 All-Japan Motocross Championship Series

For the first time in 3 seasons, HRC will compete in the IA 1 class*5 as Team HRC. The team will race with the "CRF450R" and aims to win the championship title. This participation by a factory team and the enhanced competitive power of the "CRF450R" will enable Honda to supply CRF customers around the world with machines having even higher performance.

*4
PMFJ: Motorcycle Federation of Japan
*5
Engine displacement: 2-stroke/175cc–250cc, 4-stroke/290cc–450cc
Team Class Number Rider Age Nationality 2010 Result
TEAM HRC IA 1 6 Kazumasa Masuda 30 Tokyo, Japan JMX IA1 6th
7 Yu Hirata 26 Aichi, Japan JMX IA1 7th

[Trials]

•FIM World Trial Championship Series

Repsol Montesa Honda will compete again this year in the FIM World Trial Championship Series (WCT). For machines, Honda will run two "Montesa COTA 4RT"s equipped with matured and even more competitive 4-stroke engines. Honda is targeting for the rider's championship for the fifth straight year and the manufacturer's championship for the sixth straight year.

Team Number Rider Age Nationality 2010 Result
Repsol Montesa Honda 1 Toni Bou 24 Spain Champion
3 Takahisa Fujinami 31 Mie, Japan 3rd

•MFJ All-Japan Trials Championship Series

HRC will provide support to teams and riders competing in the All-Japan Trials Championship Series, especially those belonging to HRC Clubs under the HRC service shops.

<Overview of Automobile Racing Strategy>

•SUPER GT

In the GT500 class last season, Honda took the dual titles of driver's and team championships with the "HSV-010 GT", and five of these engines will again be raced by five different teams this season. The machine was once again developed by the Automobile R&D Center of Honda R&D Co., Ltd. in cooperation with M-TEC Co., Ltd. and Dome Co., Ltd. in the Honda GT Project and fuels Honda's hopes for capturing the dual titlesfor the second year in a row.

Participating in Super GT from Autobacs Racing Team Aguri will be Hideki Mutoh, who competed in the IndyCar® Series until last season, and Takashi Kobayashi, who won the championship in the N Class of Japanese Formula 3 Championship last season.

Team Number Driver Age Nationality 2010 Result
Weider Honda Racing 1 Takashi Kogure 30 Gunma, Japan GT500 Champion
Loic Duval 28 France
AUTOBACS RACING TEAM AGURI 8 Hideki Mutoh 28 Tokyo, Japan IndyCar® Series 18th
Takashi Kobayashi 23 Hiroshima, Japan F3 N Class Champion
KEIHIN REAL RACING 17 Toshihiro Kaneishi 32 Osaka, Japan GT500 3rd
Kodai Tsukakoshi 24 Tochigi, Japan
EPSON NAKAJIMA RACING 32 Ryo Michigami 37 Nara, Japan GT500 14th
Yuhki Nakayama 23 Ishikawa, Japan
Team Kunimitsu 100 Takuya Izawa 26 Tokyo, Japan GT500 8th
Naoki Yamamoto 22 Tochigi, Japan
Car numbers are tentative and subject to change.

•Japanese Championship Formula Nippon

Team Number Driver Age Nationality 2010 Result
REAL RACING 10 Takashi Kobayashi 23 Hiroshima, Japan F3 N Class Champion
TEAM MUGEN 16 Naoki Yamamoto 22 Tochigi, Japan FN 7th
NAKAJIMA RACING 31 Daisuke Nakajima 22 Aichi, Japan British F3 11th
32 Takashi Kogure 30 Gunma, Japan FN 4th
DOCOMO TEAM DANDELION RACING 40 Takuya Izawa 26 Tokyo, Japan FN 11th
41 Kodai Tsukakoshi 24 Tochigi, Japan FN 9th
Car numbers are tentative and subject to change.

•Developing Talent: Honda Formula Dream Project (HFDP)

For developing future racing talent, Honda directs the Honda Formula Dream Project (HFDP), focused on discovering and cultivating skilled, young drivers to be active in Japanese and international racing. Takashi Kobayashi, champion of the N class of Japanese Formula 3 Championship in 2010, will now move up to Formula Nippon, while Tomoki Nojiri, who has been active in Formula Challenge Japan (FCJ), will move up to Japanese Formula 3 (F3).

<Japanese Formula 3 Championship Series>

This season, Honda will support two drivers who will race in the Japanese Formula 3 Championship.

Category Team Number Driver Age Nationality 2010 Result
F3 HFDP RACING 7 Kazuki Miura 22 Iwate, Japan F3 N Class 6th
8 Tomoki Nojiri 21 Ibaraki, Japan FCJ 5th
Car numbers are tentative and subject to change.

<Formula Challenge Japan>

Together with two other automakers,*6 Honda has established the Formula Challenge Japan (FCJ), a Junior Formula Race for the "discovery and cultivation of skilled young drivers to be active on the world stage." As part of its ongoing participation in FCJ, Honda will support the participation of four drivers with training allowances.

*6
Formula Challenge Japan (FCJ): This new Junior Formula car race was created in 2006 through the cooperation of three automakers: Toyota, Nissan, and Honda. The concept places its focus on the discovery and training of young, skilled drivers to be active on the world stage and supporting the future by developing talent to expand the foundation of Japanese motorsports.

•Developing talent: Suzuka Circuit Racing School (SRS)

Seeking to develop riders and drivers who can be formidable contenders on the global motorsports stage, Mobilityland Corporation runs its own racing schools: the Suzuka Circuit Racing School Junior (SRS-J) for motorcycles,the Suzuka Circuit Racing School Kart (SRS-K), and Suzuka Circuit Racing School Formula (SRS-F) for automobiles.
The Suzuka Circuit Racing School has produced competitive racers for the MotoGP and Formula One Grand Prix. Many other graduates have been active in various motorcycle and automobile racing categories both inside and outside Japan.

Racers in training who demonstrate excellent results at SRS will receive training allowances for their participation in higher-level racing categories. Automobile racing drivers with excellent results in SRS-F last year are receiving support this season for their participation in Formula Challenge Japan (FCJ).

•Main races hosted by Honda

<The Honda Exciting Cup One-Make Race>

The Honda Exciting Cup One-Make Race started in 1981 as a one-make race for the Civic model. The race has earned boasting rights for a long and proud history of over 30 years as a premier race for amateur drivers. This season, a total of 10 races will be held as Inter Series and East Japan Series events.

•Main Honda teams and drivers participating in overseas championship races

<IndyCar® Series>

As the sole engine supplier for the IndyCar® Series, Honda Performance Development, Inc. (HPD), a subsidiary of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., will equip all teams with the 3.5-liter V-8 "HI11R" engine. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500® Mile Race, the biggest motorsports event in North America. Since 2006, when Honda started supplying engines as the sole supplier, not one driver has retired due to engine trouble over five consecutive years. This season, Honda will continue to supply its highly reliable engines with uniform quality and minimal variation among individual engines.

Takuma Sato will enter his second season as a Japanese driver fully participating in IndyCar® Series, driving for KV Racing Technology-Lotus.

Team Number Driver Age Nationality 2010 Result
KV Racing Technology-Lotus 5 Takuma Sato 34 Tokyo, Japan IndyCar® Series 21st

<American Le Mans Series (ALMS), Le Mans Series (LMS)>

Last season, HPD won the four titles of the driver's, chassis manufacturer's, engine manufacturer's, and team championships in the LMP*7 class of the American Le Mans Series. In the Le Mans Series in Europe last year, HPD started supplying the "ARX-01c" chassis developed by the company and the 3.4-liter V-8 naturally aspirated engine, winning the driver's championship of the LMP2 class in its first year of participation. HPD also competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the first time and won the LMP2 class (ranked 5th overall).

This year, HPD and Honda R&D Americas, Inc. (HRA), Honda's U.S. R&D organization, jointly developed a 2.8-liter V-6 twin turbo engine based on a mass-produced V-6 engine. In ALMS, Honda will supply engines to the Level 5 Motorsports to support its participation in the LMP class.

In the Le Mans Series and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Honda will continue its support for the participation of the Strakka Racing and Ray Mallock Limited teams in the LMP2 class, equipping them with the "ARX-01d" chassis, which was jointly developed with Wirth Research Limited of the U.K., and the newly developed 2.8-liter V-6 twin turbo engines.

*7
LMP stands for Le Mans Prototype, a category of vehicles developed exclusively for racing in the Le Mans Series (including the American Le Mans Series). The Le Mans Series races are divided into the LMP1 and LMP2 classes based on differences in vehicle regulations. (In the American Le Mans Series, the classes have been combined into the LMP class starting in 2010.)

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