News 15 Aug 2009

MotoGP: Factory team to stay as HRC introduces new president


Mr Tetsuo Suzuki, the new HRC President and the Managing Director of Honda R&D, today met with the MotoGP media for the first time ahead of this weekend’s Grand Prix of the Czech Republic.

During a press conference at the Brno circuit, Mr Suzuki was able to confirm that HRC has come to a basic agreement with both Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso to continue riding in the factory Honda squad next season. The formal presentation of Pedrosa and Dovizioso as factory team riders will take place in due course, once the final details of the contracts are agreed.

Pedrosa and Dovizioso have illustrious Grand Prix careers with Honda and both have won world championships in the smaller Grand Prix classes on HRC machinery. Pedrosa took the 125cc title in 2003 and the 250cc title in 2004 and 2005. Dovizioso won the 125cc world championship in 2004 and HRC is delighted that these strong partnerships looks set to continue into the future.

Mr Tetsuo Suzuki, the President of HRC, said:
“First, I must thank everyone for coming to our press conference. For many of you, I assume this is the first time that we meet, so I would like to explain my duty very briefly. I was appointed to be the HRC president on June 1st this year. I am also responsible for the management of Motorcycle R&D where we develop production models. When talking about my relation to “racing”, I worked as the Project Leader of the VTR1000SPW in 2000 which was developed to be a racing machine for World Superbikes and the Suzuka 8 Hours race. Now, I am involved to racing from a different standpoint and I am feeling positive, and also excited at the same time. From now on, we will have more occasions to meet at the circuits, and I look forward to meeting you more often.

“I’m delighted to be able to announce that we have come to a basic agreement with our riders Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso for the next two years. I understand that to announce this in August is much earlier compared to past years. Though there are still some details of the contracts to finalise, we are making this announcement now so that the riders and the team can remain fully concentrated on our joint goals: to win races and recapture the MotoGP World Championship. We are convinced these riders have the armoury required to win this ultimate prize.

“Dani and Andrea are highly motivated, and I believe they will strive in the last half of this season to get positive results. Both riders have been with Honda since their days in the 125cc class, and HRC will give our every effort to develop highly competitive machines for these two riders who possess the highest potential.”