Honda Against MotoGP Engine Leasing Proposal

The press conference given by HRC President Tetsuo Suzuki was remarkable in many more ways than one. The announcement that Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso had been signed to new contracts, subsequently denied by Alberto Puig, then clarified as a "basic agreement" was the most striking news to come out of that press conference, but the press conference contained more than just the rider announcement.

Buried among the big news of the basic agreement with Dovizioso and Pedrosa and the statement that HRC would not be signing Jorge Lorenzo was some potentially more significant news on the future of MotoGP. At the press conference, Mr Suzuki also discussed the proposal put forward by the MSMA a month ago at the Sachsenring to lease just engines to teams, in an echo of the Moto2 class and Kenny Roberts' Team KR effort. According to Michael Scott in the excellent online magazine GPWeek, Honda is opposed to the idea. "We prefer to lease entire machines," the HRC boss told the press conference, though he stressed he was speaking on behalf of Honda, and not for the MSMA.

The proposal to lease engines was put forward by the MSMA in response to the suggestion put forward by Dorna of using highly modified 1000cc production engines in the bikes, alongside the existing 800cc full prototype equipment. Both of these proposals are aimed at drastically cutting the cost of participating in MotoGP,  something that all parties acknowledge is a problem.

For the likelihood of more complete motorcycles being leased is very slim indeed. Both Yamaha and Ducati have stated that they are unable to support any more machines than the four and five machines they respectively have on the grid. Suzuki has stated they are in the same position, and with Kawasaki almost certain to pull out at the end of the year - despite the protestations of the remarkably successful Hayate team - the MotoGP grid looks like shrinking again next year. Dorna's only hope is that Honda could provide more machines, and HRC boss Suzuki hinted that they may be able to provide a seventh RC212V. If they do, that bike could see Hiroshi Aoyama on board, but rumors are building that Thomas Luthi's Caffe Latte team have both the funds and the intention of running in MotoGP.

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Thanks for highlighting GPWeek Kropotkin, a publication I was unaware of until now. Looks like another excellent resource, along with MGPM & Autosport, to keep us petrolheads informed.

I do admit to visiting CrassNet for a laugh from time to time...but the slanging matches soon wear thin

After having forced Dorna to annihilate the 250, Honda has decided to not let other companies provide frames (a direct pun at Aprilia) after having been handled the "manufacture" of the "prototype" engine. This is outrageous. But Dorna will ply anyway.

And people were saying the WSBK was like a Ducati Cup some years...