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Running on Fumes

Honda Exiting Grand Prix?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008
The auto industry is hurting. It seems in recent months we hear nothing else in the news. While the American Big Three grovel in Congress and teeter on the verge of bankruptcy, worldwide economic downturn is affecting the industry as a whole. Honda, the largest motorcycle manufacturer on the planet as well as the fifth-largest car producer, is hurting too – the Japanese firm citing economic pressure for its exit from F1 and the AMA Roadracing series.

But could it be? Honda pulling the plug on Grand Prix!

MotoGP released its provisional entry list for the 2009 championship, complete with six Honda riders, including the two-man factory Repsol squad. However, there are rumors swirling of a possible change in Honda GP racing to be announced this Friday. (The F1 and AMA withdrawl announcements were released the previous two Fridays.)

Repsol s Dani Pedrosa and Nicky Hayden are a force to be reckoned with in every race. - Donington
A GP world without Honda? Say it ain't so!
The mighty HRC exiting Grand Prix would indeed be a sign of the times – hard economic times. For three decades Honda has been the dominant manufacturer in GP, with its champions including Freddie Spencer, Mick Doohan, Nicky Hayden and the GP GOAT himself – Valentino Rossi. Given Honda’s storied racing tradition, its founding tradition, we are assured its decision to withdraw from AMA racing was a painful one. Just imagine Grand Prix…

Let us hope the rumors are just that. Rank speculation, bolstered by the marque’s recent trend of delivering bad news. A change in Honda’s GP effort could be a scaling back, not a complete withdrawl. After all, Big Red’s Grand Prix machines have long been the most numerous bikes in the premier class paddock. GP could survive a couple empty seats, but six missing bikes would be a disaster.

All this is still rumor and innuendo. But we, and all GP fans, will be listening closely on Friday.
Post Tags: honda racing, honda motogp
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Comments
Martin -Honda GP December 18, 2008 12:07 PM
I have to agree with WilCon... put your money were you win. It is unfortunate to see Honda pull out of AMA. They have a long history of AMA titles and success. It's going to hurt not being able to watch Neil Hodgson compete.
Tim -MotoGP December 18, 2008 08:38 AM
I hope Honda doesn't leave GP. GP needs all of the top manufacturers to be successful. When even one of the big four leaves a series, especially one as influential as Honda, it just doesn't mean as much. I can see why Honda left F1 - insane costs and they don't produce performance cars, but they should stay in GP because they make great sport bikes and racing is the best R&D.
WilCon -Honda GP December 17, 2008 12:41 PM
Let's be realistic. Honda left AMA and F1 both places that in recent years they haven't won a thing. (AMA Formula Extreme not withstanding) F1 was a disaster. They are 2 years removed from the Moto GP championship, 1 year from the World Superbike title. Put your money where you win.