Honda has unveiled its official Honda World Motocross Team Honda to contest the FIM World Motocross Championship.
Motor Europe announced that they have committed to a three-year agreement with Martin Racing Technology, who have been the number one Honda team in recent years. The agreement will see the team become the official Honda outfit, re-named ‘Honda World Motocross’.
The new agreement provides continuity and stability for the long-term development of Honda’s World Motocross project. The links with Japan have also been further strengthened and an extensive off-season testing program in Japan and across Europe has commenced.
This announcement marks the beginning of a new chapter for Honda’s World Motocross effort and a re-focus on achieving success on the world stage. For 2011, Honda will concentrate efforts on the MX1 World Championship, with the official factory Honda World Motocross team and official support team, LS Honda Racing, both contesting the premier class.
New signings, Rui Goncalves and Evgeny Bobryshev, will form the new two-rider line up for the Honda World Motocross team. Both riders will campaign the Honda CRF450R in MX1 from 2011 and will make a combined assault on the 2011 MX1 World Championship.
Rui Goncalves experienced a challenging debut season in MX1. The 2009 MX2 Championship runner-up encountered difficulty in the early part of the year, still recovering from corrective shoulder surgery.
In the second part of the season however, Rui showed his promise with some strong rides, a 2nd place in the sand of Lierop one of the highlights.
The 25-year old Portuguese grew stronger as the season progressed and ended the year as a real threat to the podium positions. He will be keen to carry this form on to the Honda.
Evgeny Bobryshev (known as Bobby in the Motocross paddock) was undoubtedly one of the finds of the 2010 season, establishing himself as one of the front runners in MX1 and challenging for podiums on regular occasions for the CAS Honda team.
His ride to 2nd in Latvia was an indication of the talent possessed by the young Russian. He will no doubt be keen to mark his step up to official rider status in 2011 with a debut victory in MX1.
"Honda have provided me with a great opportunity to ride for them and I am really excited about the 2011 season with this team. The new bike is a great base package and I am really looking forward to developing this machine to suit my style throughout the off-season.
The team are really professional and motivated. I already feel comfortable and at home with them and confident that we can achieve success together," Honda World Motocross’ Rui Goncalves
Other Honda World Motocross rider Evgeny Bobryshev continued: "I am really positive about staying with Honda and riding for the official factory team next year. The Honda is my bike. I feel good with it and can make it work well.
Riding for the factory will be a new experience and of course it will be a new team for me but I already know a lot of the guys. I am happy to be in a strong Honda team and hopefully together we can push for podiums and wins next season."
"We are very proud of our relationship with Honda. Each year we have become stronger, bigger and with broader shoulders and have grown closer and closer to Honda. We are very positive about moving forward together. This 3-year agreement will bring with it stability for the team as well as a positive new direction."
"Rui and Bobby represent a new beginning and a new chapter in the story of our team. They each bring different things to the table but one thing they do share is raw pace. We are confident that both these guys could be race winners in 2011 and beyond," Team Manger Lorenzo Resta commented.
Roger Harvey, Off-road Manager, Honda Motor Europe, continued: "The relationship with the team is stronger than ever. We are therefore delighted to confirm that this partnership will continue into the future."
"This is a really positive step forward for Honda’s World Motocross program and with further involvement from the factory in Japan, I am confident that we can take big strides towards becoming a championship winning team. I am really excited about the potential of these two new riders."
"Rui brings with him the valuable factory experience. Bobby is familiar with Honda, having ridden for CAS in 2010 but the important thing is that we have kept him on a Honda, when other manufacturers were interested in signing him. We want to build the project around these guys for the future."