Takahashi Out Of Team Scot "Due To Back Problems"

From the moment Gabor Talmacsi confirmed the rumors of a ride with the Team Scot Honda squad in MotoGP by turning up at Barcelona with a new sponsor and a contract, the writing has been on the wall for Yuki Takahashi. Despite the denials and promises from the team to try and find a way of accommodating both riders, in reality, it was merely a question of time before the Japanese rider would be forced to make way for the Hungarian, who was bringing a much-needed cash injection into the squad.

That time, according to the authoratitive Italian site GPOne.com, is now. Takahashi, it is being reported, has been withdrawn from the US Grand Prix at Laguna Seca, ostensibly to allow surgery to be performed for back problems Takahashi suffered in his crash at Barcelona. The surgery will require a recovery period of 3 months, leaving Takahashi sidelined for the rest of the season. Just how badly Takahashi required surgery remains open to speculation, but his back injury is extremely convenient.

Team Scot manager Cirano Mularoni was open about the problems faced running two riders without spare bikes. "It was a difficult situation," he told GPone.com," because contrary to what I had read, extra spares were not available for the RC212V, a situation which would have gotten worse after Brno, with the limit on the numbers of engines. Not to mention the problems we would have faced in a flag-to-flag race, where we would have been forced to change wheels instead of bikes." Just where Mularoni read that Honda had extra RC212V parts lying around is a bit of a mystery, for HRC have made no secret of their aversion to supplying any more bikes, especially since sales slumped in aftermath of the global financial crisis.

Takahashi's "retirement" can have come as no surprise to the Japanese rider. The rookie is in 18th and last place in the championship standings, his best result a 12th place finish at Jerez. With Gabor Talmacsi suddenly available, and having both a world championship and access to a large sponsorship base, running around at the rear picking up points one at a time was never going to be enough to save Takahashi's job.

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...Aoyama wins the 250 championship? How highly sought after will he be? Will he and SuperSic be teammates next year? I must say if Takahashi was deserving, then Aoyama surely is. If he can be leading the championship on a much slower bike than Bautista and Simoncelli, what does that say about his skill? I know it says one thing: He's willing to ride the wheels off a nail. I think that's a good thing.

It's unlikely that Aoyama and Simoncelli become teammates though. Simoncelli will ride for Gresini and if previous moves are anything to go by, then a 250cc Scot Honda rider like Aoyama will move up to the Scot Honda MotoGP team...

And yes, Aoyama is an awesome rider and the Honda is indeed slower on the straight, but it has other advantages, like better stability in the corners, don't forget that. Also, Aprilia had no development and things have evened out a little this season which should make for an exciting battle until the end of the year.

Agreed. I thought Aoyama deserved the call over Takahashi at the end of last year. But we'll have to wait and see how it turns out, as I can't see a Honda seat going vacant (Melandri will get the other Gresini bike). But there will be a bunch of Ducatis going spare, and no one willing to ride them ...

I think that some commentators have stated assumptions regarding the Honda nad the Aprilia as fact when they are far from it. I am not convinced that the Aprilia has received no development and while the Honda is good on the brakes and in the corners, it is still a two year old bike. Better than the Aprilia? I am not sure it is by very much.

I've thought it ironic over the past two seasons of 250 GP that the Honda, in the hands of Takahashi and Aoyama, has been competitive with the Aprilias - and Honda has been responsible for the death of the 250 two stroke as a GP bike. Does anyone at HRC see the anomoly? Just saying.......................


Re Aprilia development: According to the riders themselves there's been absolutely none of it.
Please don't take this as me bragging, but I've been interviewing a couple of riders in Le Mans including Alvaro Bautista and he said there's definitely been no development after last year and it also doesn't look like there'll be any new parts anymore this season since Aprilia is very much focused on Superbike now (which also shows in how rarely you see Giampiero Sacchi at MotoGP events this year).
Alvaro also said that he thinks the reason why Aoyama is so fast is not the bike but rather the rider and the experience of the team. The idea of possible Honda development comes mostly from journalists and commentators, but I believe with good reason even though it's not been confirmed by the manufacturer.