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Hodgson to Race for Corona Honda

Saturday, January 31, 2009
All you AMA Superbike fans can rest a little easier tonight. British import Neil Hodgson has found a home for ‘09. And he will be riding a CBR1000RR in American Superbike against the likes of Mat Mladin and crew. But where most had assumed it would have been for the Erion team, it will actually be under Corona colors. Though with a twist.

Hodgson rode for the factory squad in  08 and will basically do the some in  09  just with Corona-colored bodywork.
Hodgson (100) rode for the factory Honda squad in '08 and will basically be doing the same for '09, just with Corona-colored bodywork and sponsorship.
Essentially, it will be a factory machine, built and maintained from the Torrance, California race shop of American Honda, with the crew based there and employed by Honda as well. American Honda road race manager Ron Heben will spearhead the effort.

The Britt, who has become an American fan favorite, was left without a ride when American Honda withdrew from road racing on December 12 for economic reasons. This followed the parent Japanese end of Honda announcing they would be pulling out of Formula One, also for economic reasons. Since then Honda has announced they will not field a factory team in the Suzuka 8 Hours for the same reason. The only good news has been that the Big Red Wing will not cut its MotoGP effort, which many had feared.

Luckily for Hodgson, he had a two-year deal, thus Honda had to find a place for him or pay him to sit at the beach in Southern California. Another option on the table was to ride for a Magic Johnson-backed Honda team, which hit a road block when Johnson’s point man was tragically killed in a motorcycle racing accident a couple weeks ago.

This left most thinking Hodgson would pair up with Jake Zemke and Chris Peris on the very successful Erion team riding a 600, which Hodgson had said he would happily have done to keep from sitting around for the season without a ride.

“I would much rather ride than just sit around a collect a pay check,” said the likable Britt. “I know some of my mates have told me I’ve got it made to just go to the beach and get paid, but I still have a few good years racing left in me and to sit around doesn’t set me up well for 2010. I want to go out there and win Honda a championship so when they hopefully come back in 2010 I’ll be in a good position for the ride, or something similar.”

But Hodgson is even more delighted with the new situation, as he gets to continue on what will be very close to a full-factory machine with the crew he worked under last season.

“I didn’t think I would end up at Corona really, either,” Hodgson said. “But this deal with the factory boys running it under Corona colors sounded like the best option for me as I would continue to race the 1000cc Superbike, which is what I wanted. Considering how strong we were in testing I think we can be a race winner and contend for the championship. If I didn’t think so I wouldn’t have taken the option, so I’m really excited to get going and get back to racing again.”

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Machoo Monchero -RE: "it's dmg's vision coming to light"  February 4, 2009 01:36 PM
You put Mat on a Jordan Suzuki Superbike, I beleive he will still win championship in 09. I have much respect for all contenders in AMA sbk, but Mat was never a cry baby, he just like to slap all the name mentioned, and he will continue the slappin in 09....this will never be fair playing field as long as he is there.....MAT GOT TOOOO MUCH SKILZZ for all on the sbk grid. Face the truth...
kirk -it's dmg's vision coming to light  February 2, 2009 02:26 PM
I've sparred with fans in the past about the DMG racing idea and now look. It's exactly what DMG was looking for. Factory backed private teams- go figure. Kawi did it with Attack. Neil going to Corona is the best possible PR deal a team could ask for. Honda made the right move when they anounced they would back Erion and Corona. KSW will run Aprilias and get Corse support for Chaz Davies. Yamaha has Graves (now Chuck needs a sponsor- but it's a private team nontheless). Pegram will be running a two bike Duc squad- privately (backed by Foremost insurance and Corse Ducati). Oddly, Suzuki (who whined the loudest) is the last true Corse team. They complained until blue in the face and in the end they are racing under the "new" rules. Mat's a crybaby that's affraid to race on a level playing field. Ben Bostrom and Neil Hodgeson will clean his clock this year. Maybe Mat will retire at the end of the season when he figures out he no longer can rely on Yosh technology to help him win races.
John Cox -Neil  February 2, 2009 11:03 AM
Well done Neil take it to him and make him work.
Machoo Monchero -Hodgson  February 1, 2009 08:33 PM
Hodgson is a very good rider. After reading the article up there, its sounds like a Honda Factory Team as well but with "Corona" skin. Now that Ben Spies is out of the picture, I've always wondered if anyone can step up and give Mat some serious challenge. Ben on the R1, Yates on Suzuki, now that Hodgson has a ride, this makes the series a lil bit more fun to watch. For the last two seasons I've been watching AMA superbike, there is about a 1 second difference between Hodgson and Mat in their Lap times. He would need to close that gap consistently to have a shot at it. Can't wait till the season starts. Superbike Crown to Hodgson in 09 would be nice, but I honestly think Mat is just in a different level from all on that grid.
Dan The Canadian -DREAM................  February 1, 2009 07:25 AM
I would of like to see him sitting on a Suzuki, teamate to Mat Mladin.... But then again, I would like to see a full race of just Suzuki prep for all the rider's and really see if Mat Mladin is that good....... A couple of years ago, they call the World Superbike a Ducati cup... The AMA has been a Yoshomira Suzuki Cup.......
Tim -Hodgson to Race  January 31, 2009 01:55 PM
Glad to see this, and glad to see him on a Honda. I think this set up, still gives Honda a real shot at a Superbike Championship. What a contrast this news is, compared to the news of Honda'a factory supported pull out from the series, that made headlines in mid Decemeber. This team sounds as close to a factory effort as you can get. Go 100 !!!!!!!