>> Monday, May 11, 2009
Could things be turning around for Honda’s racing department? The Japanese industrial giant began canceling its motorsport programs one by one when things took a turn for the worse economically, but after withdrawing from the AMA Road Racing motorbike series a few months ago, Honda is getting back in the saddle according to reports by supplying the engines to all the teams competing in the upcoming new Moto2 series.
Like GP2 is to Formula One - or the Nationwide Series is to the Sprint Cup in NASCAR - the new Moto2 championship slots in as a feeder and support series to the top-tier MotoGP. Currently the 250cc class (like the Honda example pictured above) serves that function, but like the organizers did with MotoGP and the pre-extant 500cc class, the new Moto2 bikes will be mixed into the field for next season before the new formula replaces the old one in 2011. The new Honda engines, however, will be 600cc, four-stroke units with over 150 horsepower on tap, potentially prepared by European Honda tuner Ten Kate. Who knows, maybe they can still bolt a couple of these together and get back on board with Brawn GP, too.