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 Takahashi, it is being reported, has been withdrawn from the US Grand Prix at Laguna Seca, ostensibly to allow surgery to be performed for back problems Takahashi suffered in his crash at Barcelona.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.
If you enjoyed this article, please consider supporting MotoMatters.com. You can help by either taking out a subscription, supporting us on Patreon, by making a donation, or contributing via our GoFundMe page. You can find out more about subscribing to MotoMatters.com here.