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Old 12-16-2008, 04:02 PM   #21
dankston
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Hodgson ‘Shocked And Stunned’ By American Honda’s Pullout From AMA Pro Road Racing

Neil Hodgson is in a state of shock over American Honda’s announcement that it will not field a factory team in the 2009 AMA Pro road racing series.

“I found out Friday [December 12] night my time,” Hodgson told Roadracingworld.com Monday in a telephone interview from his home on the Isle of Man. “I’m eight hours ahead of California, so I guess it was Friday morning there. I found out at 10:00 p.m., right before I went to bed. I got a phone call from Ron [Heben, Road Race Team Manager] to tell me the bad news before anything leaked onto the Internet or before anyone called me. He thought it was the decent thing to tell me.”

The “bad news” was that American Honda would not participate in the new-look AMA Pro road racing series in 2009 due to “the current global economic situation and its impact on Honda,” according to a statement released by the company at 6:00 p.m. Pacific Time Friday, December 12.

“Obviously, I was shocked and stunned,” Hodgson continued. “It was not what I expected at all. What can you do?”

Hodgson said he was stunned because he had essentially been told American Honda was going racing in 2009.

“Roughly, a while back, maybe a few months ago, when there was a lot of uncertainty, we got past that and we were almost told like, ‘Don’t worry. We’ll race DMG or with MIC, but we’re going racing,’” said Hodgson. “That was what was pretty much told to me. At that point I breathed a big sigh of relief and thought, ‘At least I am racing,’ you know? So obviously before [the tire test at] Daytona and at Daytona I felt I wasn’t too worried. I felt pretty confident we were actually going racing.”

American Honda’s announcement stated that it would continue to support satellite teams Corona Extra Honda and Erion Racing Honda in 2009, leading to the possibility of Hodgson, who is contracted through 2009, being assigned to ride for one of those outfits. Hodgson said he was receptive to that idea because he feels, based on his recent performance at the Daytona tire test, that the CBR1000RR is a potential winner.

“I know there’s some strong teams out there,” said the former Superbike World Champion. “Both of those guys run a really strong outfit. If I go down that route then that’s the route I go down. I’ve got a contract with American Honda to go racing, so I’m assuming I’m going to go racing in some form. I’m hoping, anyway.

“All I know is, I look to race. I believe Honda’s [CBR1000RR] is still the best road bike out there which will work for the DMG [2009 American Superbike] rules. I still believe we have a shot at winning the title if we were to go racing.”

With only a few days until Christmas and the start of 2009, Hodgson is hoping American Honda can answer some of his many questions by the end of the week.

“I’m hoping to get some answers this week as to what their plans are, if they're going to try to push something down the satellite route or not do anything,” said Hodgson, who serves as his own business manager. “Basically, until I find out those answers I can’t make any plans myself.”

But Hodgson was able to keep it all in perspective, saying, “I’m one of the fortunate ones. There’s millions of people across the world, really there’s tens of millions of people across the world who are out of work, have big mortgages to pay and have borrowed lots of money from the bank, and I’m very fortunate that I’m not one of those people. It’s certainly not the end of the world. I’m not doom and gloom. I genuinely feel pretty confident that something’s going to come off and I’ll be racing. I’m still training. I’ve been in the gym all weekend. I’m still fighting. I know it’s going to come. I was unlucky in 2007 to not get a ride, but it’s not going to happen again. I just know it’s not. I have a good feeling.”
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Old 12-16-2008, 04:03 PM   #22
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Hodgson On An Erion or Corona SuperBike in '09?

Honda's Friday announcement that they are pulling their factory team from the 2009 DMG/AMA Superbike series didn't come as a huge surprise. The current economic meltdown and its effects on the Honda automobile market continues to trickle bad news down to nearly every sector of Honda's worldwide market.

Honda's pull-out release notwithstanding, those Hodgson fans wondering where they can go in 2009 to see their favorite English triple digit rider won't have to go to World Superbike or British Superbike. There's every chance that Neil Hodgson will be on either an Erion Honda or Corona Honda Superbike (or 600) in 2009.

Hodgson is in the middle of a two-year contract, which by Soup math means that there's at least one year left on said contract. It's highly doubtful that Honda is going to pay him to sit on his couch and drink warm beer for a year, especially since they still have both of their satellite teams, Corona and Erion, under contract for at least another year as well.

Hodgson's contract might have to be modified to enable him to ride at Corona or Erion, and the contract of whichever team gets Hodgson might have to be modified in order for them to provide a spot for Hodgson but there seems to be every chance that Hodgson will be riding a Honda in the 2009 series. Presumably, Erion or Corona will use the current Honda CBR1000RR Superbikes--those last seen lapping quickest at the Daytona test.

A similar situation happened in late 1987 when Honda pulled their factory team out of US Superbike. At that time they released Superbike champion Wayne Rainey from the third year of his contract; he left to ride Grand Prix for the Lucky Strike Yamaha Roberts team. But Honda still had Bubba Shobert under contract and diminished resources to run their '88 team. Thus the factory team was subcontracted directly to Shobert. Interestingly, he won the Superbike championship in 1988 after a hard battle with fellow Texan Doug Polen on Yoshimura Suzuki.

Shobert's unlikely '88 championship following Honda's cut-back in late 1987 is an example of the opportunities created in a down market. For now it's a matter of seeing who plays the market right and builds a possible racing dynasty from what's left in the race shop.
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Old 12-16-2008, 04:13 PM   #23
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This can not be good for racing in the US.
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Old 12-16-2008, 04:49 PM   #24
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Quote:
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This can not be good for racing in the US.
The US is going downhill in every facet of every imaginable thing right now. Thanks Honda for adding to the dog pile.
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Old 12-16-2008, 04:57 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadman View Post
The US is going downhill in every facet of every imaginable thing right now. Thanks Honda for adding to the dog pile.
That's blowing it a little out of proportion........but yea, this sucks (_I_).
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Old 12-16-2008, 07:28 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadman View Post
The US is going downhill in every facet of every imaginable thing right now. Thanks Honda for adding to the dog pile.
Don't worry Yamaha will figure out a way to rescue us...

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Old 12-17-2008, 03:27 PM   #27
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Don't worry Yamaha will figure out a way to rescue us...

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Old 12-18-2008, 09:41 PM   #28
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Funny how all 2008 motorcycles that were previously homogulated have been grandfathered for 2009.
This is what Jordon has been waiting for to cut their deal with Suzuki.
That puts May and Yates on 1000's.

I hope Benny T. goes well next year on the Aprilia.
I imagine Neil will get something worked out with Corona.
Honda Racing has TONS of race stuff left over from last year laying around to make a competitive 2009 spec bike.
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Old 01-30-2009, 05:44 PM   #29
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Neil Hodgson will race a Corona Honda Superbike in 2009 AMA/DMG American Superbike. Hodgson had the choice of an Erion Honda 600 ride or the Corona Superbike effort and chose the latter.

Hodgson will use the number 100, he said earlier in the week.
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Old 01-30-2009, 07:01 PM   #30
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i think AMA will still yield good racing even with spec this and that...
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Old 01-31-2009, 11:55 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rc51eviltwin View Post
i think AMA will still yield good racing even with spec this and that...

+1 ... It may take a while for everything to pan out.... But IMO... Motorcycle racing is Motorcycle racing no matter where it is, what bikes they are on or what rules are in place.. It is a passion of mine and I love watching it no matter what.
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Old 02-02-2009, 03:06 AM   #32
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I dont think it had anything to do with the economy it had everything to do with the Daytona motorsports group.
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Old 02-02-2009, 09:01 AM   #33
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You know anyway you look at this it is bad for motorcycle racing. If you look at the DMG mess and these major teams pulling out of motorcycle racing, it just isn't good for the sport!

I really really hope that the DMG folks know more than I do, but even as a novice and a new comer to motorcycle racing, I am really disappointed and the series hasn't even started yet.

I am a firm believer in the underdog, I have spent my whole life as one, but the sport is carried by the factory rides. Am I wrong?

I know there are literally tons of guys/girls out there funding there dreams with grass roots, but the real money comes from the factories. TV, advertising, new bikes, etc etc, that money doesn't come from entry fees in races. It does sound like Honda is going to keep paying some money to satellite teams, but the question then becomes when does that run dry? This economic downturn is gonna continue for a while longer IMHO. What factory is next? When do the networks say motorcycle racing doesn't bring in enough money compared to NASCAR and we are dropping the series?

I just hate to see this kind of stuff, it certainly isn't a good sign when factories start pulling teams!
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