Honda Motor Co., Ltd. announces its 2015 motorsports strategy and initiatives for expanding the popularity of motorsports
Since the days of its founding, Honda has always tackled the challenge of competing in motorsports events around the world, using the races as a springboard for the company’s growth by testing, refining and proving the worth of its original technologies on the global stage. Under its corporate slogan of “The Power of Dreams,” Honda aims to satisfy the expectations of its customers by putting more power behind its motorsports activities, so that through racing it can bring fun, joy and excitement to people across the globe.
- Motorsports Strategy
In the MotoGP, the premier class of the FIM*1 Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix Series, Repsol Honda, a Honda factory team will again put forward the lineup of Marc Márquez, who was the champion for the second year in a row last season, paired with Dani Pedrosa who achived 4th place, aiming to win the three titles for the third season running.
The Pata Honda World Superbike Team, supported by Honda Motor Europe Ltd., Honda’s local affiliate in Europe, will vie for victory in the Superbike World Championship Series (WBS) by riding the CBR1000RR. The team will feature the two riders of Sylvain Guintoli, the WSB champion last season, and Michael van der Mark, the champion in the Supersport World Championship (WSS) who also claimed victory two years in a row at the Suzuka 8hours Endurance Road Race.
Based on a desire to satisfy the expectations of many customers and fans as a manufacturer of motorcycles in all categories, Honda is determined to raise its commitment to the four categories of road racing, motocross, trials world championships, and the Dakar.
In the premier MXGP (450 cc) class of the FIM Motocross World Championship Series (MXGP), Honda will again compete with its Team HRC factory team. Evgeny Bobryshev will now be joined by Gautier Paulin, who ranked eighth in the MXGP in the 2014 season.
In AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship held in the U.S., Honda has reinforced its team structure this season through technical support from Honda Racing Corporation (HRC) and the Motorcycle R&D Centre of Honda R&D Co., Ltd., with the aim of capturing the title.
In the FIM Trial World Championship Series (WCT), three riders will compete：Toni Bou, crowned as champion for an unprecedented eight years in a row, Takahisa Fujinami, the only Japanese rider in WCT racing, and Jaime Busto, the WCT World Cup Class champion. The Honda team has their eyes on a ninth straight riders’ championship and tenth straight manufacturers’ championship.
Team HRC factory team competed in the Dakar 2015 Argentina-Bolivia-Chile in January. Paulo Goncalves placed second overall, and Laia Sanz came in ninth overall, the highest ranking ever for a female rider in the race.
HRC does not limit its racing activities to ones focusing on the pinnacle races, but also works on sales of commercial racing machines. The RC213V-RS commercial racer will be supplied to four riders in three teams in the Open Category, and the Dakar Rally machine CRF450 Rally has already been put on the market. HRC will continue to launch motorcycles based on factory machines, which will help expand the popularity of these vehicles.
Honda will participate this season in the FIA*2 Formula One World Championship as a power unit supplier for the McLaren Honda team, which will enter two machines driven by Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button. McLaren Honda aims to win the dual titles of drivers’ and constructors’ championships.
In the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC), Castrol Honda World Touring Car Team, a Honda factory team, will again feature Gabriele Tarquini and Tiago Monteiro as the drivers in this third season of full-year participation. Among private teams, in addition to Zengő Motorsport, competing in its third season, Nika Racing will be supplied with Honda cars for the first time. Honda aims to capture the dual titles of drivers’ and manufacturers’ championships.
In the GT500 class of the SUPER GT Series, Honda will compete with its NSX CONCEPT-GT equipped with a 2.0-litre inline 4-cylinder direct injection turbo engine and a racing hybrid system, in its attempt to recapture the dual title of drivers’ and team championships with its five teams and five machines. In the GT300 class, Honda will continue its support for AUTOBACS RACING TEAM AGURI, supplying them with a racing hybrid system, in cooperation with M-TEC Co., Ltd.
In the Japanese Championship SUPER FORMULA Series, Honda will supply the HR-414E, a 2.0-litre, inline, 4-cylinder direct injection turbo engine, to nine machines raced by five teams. Using this engine with greater power, Honda aims for the dual titles of drivers’ and team championships.
In the IndyCar® Series, Takuma Sato, now in his sixth season, will again compete for A.J. Foyt Racing.