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Honda quits AMA Superbikes

Discussion in 'Racing, Motorsports, and Track Days' at netrider.net.au started by removed-6, Dec 13, 2008.

  1. Another blow to motor racing on the world stage, where it seems a player leaves every week lately. Honda has announced it will not take a factory team into AMA Superbikes in 2009. :cry:
    And apparently, following on from their F1 abandonment, the motoGP team is also under threat of losing factory support if a major sponsor is not found pronto.

    The world economy has alot to answer for........ :evil:


     
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  2. There will be more to it than that.
     
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  3. When your looking down the barrel of a receivers gun, and don't even have enough money to pay your workers beyond xmas or even buy some snags to put on a xmas bbq .... then 'extraneous' expenses are always the first to go. Just like a household budget I guess, just on a grander scale.
     
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  4. I saw Pedrosa at Centrelink, this week. What could this mean.


    Hayden got out at the right time.
     
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  5. Well, Honda reported a 41% drop in three-month profits,

    All this cost-cutting seems hardly surprising, considering that Honda is a business. Paying millions for teams to race for your brand, when a third or so of your product is remains unsold, would clearly be considered bad business.
     
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  6. There is a LOT more to it than the GFC.

    AMA has undergone some drastic rule changes this year and most of the major manufacturers have expressed extreme concern at the changes made by the new series promoter. Whilst the current situation makes the decision easier, I am sure that wasn't the only reason for their withdrawal. It allows them to move to the side without making a scene.

    Honda hasn't won anything in AMA Superbikes for a while and their effort, though considerable, isn't the same as the Suzuki.

    HRC have a major sponsor for their Motogp team in Repsol. The other satellite teams are supported both by their own sponsors, HRC and Dorna.

    As in F1, if you're not winning (with a company with the history of Honda) then why bother? Especially if you're not at all happy with the format of the rules.
     
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  7. Then again, it represents an opportunity. With a 3rd of your product unsold, you need to promote interest as well. Merely sitting back and assuming that people will buy anyway isn't always the best option.
     
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  8. Hmmm. A certain manufacturer seem to be doing a fair bit of whinging and whining at the moment about rules and then getting their own way. I say pack your bat and ball and go home Honda. Seem's that since Rossi left your camp your products are not as superior as you would like to have everyone believe. Yamaha & Ducati have proven that in MotoGP. Ducati has proven it in WSBK. Anyone else smell the stench of arrogance?
     
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  9. Perhaps, but none of the manufacturers are happy with the DMG and their new rules. Effectively making AMA a 2 wheeled NASCAR
     
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  10. It's not just Honda BTW. Suzuki and Kawasaki have also both pulled official factory support for the AMA Superbikes.

    The only remaining official factory support for AMA Superbikes is from Yamaha, and a satellite effort from Ducati.

    AMA Superbikes next year is basically going to be a one-horse (Yamaha) race unless something changes.
     
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  11. Maybe it's a chance, to use a cliche, to get back to basics.

    Production based superbike racing should not be about factory specials, I feel. Rather, it should be about teams buying bikes off the shelf, then within whatever rules there are, to modify them for racing.

    Back in the 80s it seemed to run like this. eg. the NGK series that Phillis comprehensively dominated with his GSX1100 based bikes. Then Superbikes entered the scene and ergo the factory specials. eg. the R7 which nobody could buy. Closest was the YZF750.

    Then there are the Ducati 1098r that Bayliss raced. That bike was different to what the privateers were running. And the base road bike is a 1100cc machine while what's raced is a much more expensive 1200cc machine. At least the Jap bikes are more or less the same as what you and I can buy for under $20k.

    WSBK has been the Ducati Cup for so long, with the factory dominating. And when Honda and Suzuki won it in recent years it was by factory supported teams.

    Perhaps it's a good thing. Factory support should maybe go to the top categories such as MotoGP (when are they gonna dump that name?) and Formula One.

    I don't know what the AMA series is being turned into as I don't follow it. Perhaps someone can explain the "nascar'ising" of the class.
     
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  12. I was having a bit of a dig at Hondas past performances in the introduction of first the 990 Motogp, then to 800's and now the new 600 class more than anything :grin: :grin: .
     
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  13. Sounds like superstock......

    they're trying to turn it into superstock, so maybe you'd like it? :p :LOL:
     
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  14. The closest bike to a production machine is the 1098F08 from Ducati. There was at least one other team running the F08. The others were also 1200cc bikes, based on the 1098R which is, I believe, the homologation model.

    The Ducati was allowed the 1200cc rule change in return for the removal of most of the exotic materials that was used in the 999. The 999 only was using these materials to try to make the power of the IL4's.

    The IL4's are now allowed more leeway in use of materials than the 1200cc twins. This is what allows them to make 200+ HP

    I always understood production racing to be about machines that are based on bikes you can buy off the shelf. The R7 was most definitely available, but apparently only in a 100hp version!

    The R7, RC45 and ZX7R were in response to the rules that allowed the twins a lower weight AND higher cc advantage. With the advent of the 1000cc rule change the difference in power to the 1200cc bikes isn't nearly as bad. In fact, as per the AMCN article this week, the IL4's still make more power and on fast tracks are clearly quicker, but the twins still win on the jump from the exit of corners.

    I don't believe that any of the Jap teams are 'factory'. Honda is run by Ten-Kate, the Yamaha official entrant is via Yamaha Italy, Suzuki is run by Francis Batta and the Kawasaki is now being run by Paul Bird from the UK. Of course, all these teams are heavily supported by their respective makers, but all are free to explore solutions to their own problems.

    I remember when Chilli was winning against Fogarty and one of his advantages was that his team could go any direction they wished to solve a problem, whereas the official team was very much stuck with whatever the 'official' offering was.

    BMW is now factory, as is Aprilia and Ducati. But I would imagine that these companies are heavily involved primarily to retain control of their racing effort, not because that really want to be funding them.

    As for Nascar, that reference is mainly about how under the shells, those cars are more or less the same. The rules are designed for parity racing and any advantage by any team during the year can result in a change of rules. It's all about manipulating the rules to ensure that you have a level field.

    DMG didn't want manufacturers in their race series. But without the manufacturers, even in the US, you are then left with a clutch of poorly supported privateers. The politics are endless and there was much rumour and innuendo about how only Mladin's bike was being DQ'd and Spies bike was being left alone.
     
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  15. No. Superstock is for bikes that have minimal mods. I'm talking about similar freedoms to current superbikes but without factory involvement or support.

    No homologation specials. Just showroom bikes that can be "hotted" up.

    How's that grab you?
     
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  16. How many R7s were sold in Australia, and I don't mean to people who used them for racing?

    A mate of mine owns a YZF750. It's what the R7 was based on. When he bought it he wanted to get an R7 but could not source one anywhere. Supposedly what few that were available were snapped up. Whether by race teams or collectors or whatever, I dunno.

    What sort of support would they be looking for or needing? Isn't it up to the teams to seek the appropriate sponsorship in order to fund their endeavors?

    Look at it this way - how many race teams are there that do not have factory support compared to those that do? ie. How many of them would have direct factory support, how many with "satellite team" status and those who are purely privateers?

    What would happen if none of them had any factory support other than the manufacturer making the bikes for them to purchase, modify and go racing on?

    Remember, I'm talking about production bike racing, not prototype or GP class. For the latter you definitely need some sort of factory support. Otherwise there'd be no-one with the resources to make the engines and other bits and pieces that can't be bought off the shelf (like forks, brake components, etc.). And of course, no brand recognition.
     
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  17. Grab an OW01 if ever you see one for sale, and can afford it.
     
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  18. Would an RC30 not be a better purchase?
     
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  19. One or the other, really. Very few of either were ever built. One of each is best.
     
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