Have Honda given up?

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Sport - SIMON PAT­TER­SON MO­TOGP RE­PORTER

‘Field­ing two factory teams of rook­ies cer­tainly sug­gests so...’

The Suzuka 8-Hour is of­ten touted as the most im­por­tant race of the sea­son to the Ja­panese man­u­fac­tur­ers, as ev­i­denced by the plethora of factory bikes, GP and WSB stars and factory tech­ni­cians that flood to the race to help their re­spec­tive com­pa­nies take top hon­ours.

There are none of these to whom it has tra­di­tion­ally meant more than Honda. The race was the brain­child of Soichiro Honda, and is held on the com­pany’s home track.

Yet now we’re pon­der­ing how strong Honda’s com­mit­ment is after yet an­other dis­ap­point­ing show­ing in an im­por­tant year, with both the 40th an­niver­sary of the 8-Hour and a new Fire­blade to sell.

Turn­ing up with two factory teams of rook­ies and young rid­ers like Jack Miller and Takaaki Nak­agami against Yamaha’s triple-win­ning team, Yoshimura Suzuki’s hugely strong squad and dou­ble race win­ner Leon Haslam on the Kawasaki, it begs the ques­tion – is Suzuka fi­nally los­ing its ap­peal to the big H?

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