• Official factory team in Motocross’ top category
• Honda World Motocross Team becomes Team HRC
• Max Nagl and Evgeny Bobryshev retained
In his annual global motorsports address today, which outlined all of Honda’s factory motorsport programmes for 2014, Honda President Takanobu Ito announced that Honda is further increasing its support in the FIM Motocross World Championship.
The newly renamed Team HRC reflects the increased role of the factory in the championship’s premier MXGP category, and is the natural culmination of an increasing Honda presence in the sport over the last three years.
This is the latest chapter in a long and successful history in World Motocross, in which Honda have sealed a raft of 125, 250 and 500 MX world titles. It’s also a new chapter for HRC, which most recently sealed the FIM MotoGP World Championship title with the Repsol Honda Team last season.
The team retains last year’s rider line-up of Max Nagl and Evgeny Bobryshev, who will compete aboard works Honda CRF450RW machines.
Nagl and Bobryshev were present for the President’s address in Tokyo today, appearing alongside the likes of other works Honda riders Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez (MotoGP), Joan Barreda (Dakar) and Honda’s drivers from the IndyCar Series and the World Touring Car Championship.
The team has been testing in Sardinia in January and competed in the opening round of the Italian MX Internazionali series to support their preparations for the start of the Grand Prix season, bringing home two podium finishes. The first Grand Prix is in Qatar at the Losail Motocross track on 28 February – 1 March.
HRC General Manager – MXGP
“The 2014 season is an important milestone for Honda in the Motocross World Championship with the support of Honda Racing Corporation. Honda has a long history in Motocross with the Honda CRF, including multiple world 125, 250 and 500 titles throughout the 1980s and 1990s, and after more and more support over the last three years, the next logical step was for a full factory presence again with Team HRC.”
“My Dad always said in the past that the biggest step you can make, and the dream to have, is riding for the Honda factory team because it was always the best – a step ahead of everyone. Now I’m so happy to be in Team HRC. It’s really a dream come true.
“I can feel the difference to last year because we’re working very closely with the factory and the Japanese engineers, we have more parts to test each time, and we’ve improved the bike a lot already. The experience and success of HRC brings so much to the team. Standing on the stage for the President’s motorsport announcement alongside riders like Pedrosa and Marquez – it really shows the importance of MXGP to Honda this season.”
“Representing Team HRC is a big honour for me. There is so much history and many motocross victories in the past, and recent World Championships in MotoGP for example, and now after a break it’s a great feeling that HRC is back in MXGP and to be a part of it.
“The whole team approach is so focused on the results this year, and pre-season testing has been very positive. Working directly with Honda in Japan means that changes are happening faster and we have even more support that has helped us already in taking another step, so I’m feeling strong for this season. I hope we can repeat history.”