Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Interwetten Honda Out of MotoGP for 2011

The RC212V Honda of '09 250CC World Champion Hiroshi Aoyama is warmed up in the pitlane in front of the Interwetten Honda garages at the Red Bull Indianapolis MotoGP round in August of 2010. The satellite Honda team made the official announcement during last weekend's round in Portugal that they would be discontinuing their efforts in the premier MotoGP class for the 2011 season and concentrating solely on the Moto2 class. Aoyama finished in the 12th position in Estoril on Sunday in the MotoGP race.
Aoyama is expected to make an announcement at the season ending round in Valencia this weekend as to what his future will hold, and with which team. He currently sits in 15th place in the MotoGP World Championship point standings with 51 points.
The Interwetten Honda MotoGP Team, one of the satellite Honda teams in the premier MotoGP World Championship, made it official over the weekend that they would be pulling out of the MotoGP class for the 2011 season, and concentrating on the Moto2 class with rider Thomas Luthi. As mentioned, they hope to be able to return to the elite class by 2012, when the new rules packages will take effect with the return to 1000CC in the world championship series.
With Interwetten out, the already EXTREMELY thin grid in the top-dog series would look to be trimmed to 16 riders, however Ducati had announced earlier in the season that they would be adding rider Karel Abraham with the Cardion AB Ducati satellite team for the 2011 season. That still only makes for 17 riders on the grid for the 2011 season, the same number as we have seen this year.
Maybe with any luck with the new-for-2012 rules packages and the return to the 1000CC era
in MotoGP will we see some grids in the premier class that don't look enemic. The series has been getting slimmer in terms of less-full grids the last few years, and much less exciting in terms of overall racing action due to the electronics as well as the established 800CC platform in use since the 2007 season. Mid-pack action has been decent at times, but the thrilling battles one would expect in the top-flight series for the most part have been few and far between.
At this point, we can only hold on and hope.
Here is the official news on Interwetten's pulling out thanks to the always great David Emmett

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