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GP Week : Issue 44
>>Moto GPnews dding war edrosa Pedrosa’s poor second half of 2008 was spoiled by injury, tyre problems, and some serious petulance from controversial manager Alberto Puig; while the factory team has now added fast Italian Andrea Dovizioso to team strength for this year, with an option for 2010. He started this year injured again, but strong rides in the first three races, including one second and one third place, have put him equal on points with Lorenzo. At the same conference, Pedrosa was asked about his future. “I have been a long time with Honda,” he said. “But there are other bikes that are fast. That’s all,” he said. Honda confirmed as Moto2 engine supplier HONDA has been confirmed as the engine supplier for the new 600cc four-stroke Moto2 class, after bids from other potential suppliers were turned down by the two- man Permanent Bureau, comprising the presidents of the FIM and Dorna. “Among various offers received, it has been decided that the single engine supplier will be Honda, who offers a high-level performance engine,” read the Saturday statement, adding: “The horsepower will be over 150.” The class will begin next year, but for one year 250cc two-strokes will be allowed to race alongside (or more likely some way behind) the new machines. The decision was made in private, but word leaked out that another serious bid had been received from Yamaha, but turned down because Honda’s proposal offered more horsepower. Kawasaki had originally s of Kawasaki support more development to make it better.” Last year new rider John Hopkins also achieved one sixth place in the early races, but results dropped off badly after that for him and team-mate Anthony West, and the green bikes languished at the back of the grid. This as much as the credit crunch is thought to have swayed the factory’s decision to pull out of MotoGP. 13 been earmarked as the engine supplier; while another bid was received from Norton, proposing use of their Wankel engine. More details came from HRC vice-president Shuhei Nakamoto, who said that Honda had decided to bid for the contract as a matter of duty as the largest motorcycle manufacturer: “Honda should help to maintain racing, and not only in Moto2,”he said. The engine will be closely based on the CBR600 engine, modified to produce at least 150 horsepower at the crankshaft … some ten horsepower more than similar engines used in the World Supersport class. “It will look the same, but it will be tuned up,” said Nakamoto, who revealed that design plans had not yet progressed beyond the discussion stage. “We did not start development because another company might have won the contract,”he said. Being production- based, the engines will have wet clutches and road-style gearboxes, rather than racing cassette-style gearboxes which allow ratios to be changed without stripping the engines: “The 600 has enough torque to use standard gearing,”said Nakamoto. Although many details remain to be finalised, the plan is for Dorna to buy the engines to supply to teams. The teams will maintain the engines themselves, but tuning will not be allowed and standard basic electronics will come with the package, possibly not including traction control. “It’s good to have some decision,”said Carlo Merlini, co-ordinator of the San Carlo Honda MotoGP team, one of several teams interested in contesting the new class. “The rules have been quite delayed, but we want to start working on the project now.”