Stefan Bradl’s LCR Honda is sporting a new livery at Assen, after the team secured a major new sponsorship deal. The tie up will see the bike in CWM’s colors for three races in 2014, and will continue as a major backer in 2015.
The new sponsorship deal is so significant that it offers LCR Honda new possibilities. Lucio Cecchinello has made no secret of his desire to expand from a single bike to a two-bike team, but so far, the financial backing necessary has been missing.
The deal with CWM World has the potential to be the key support which would allow Cecchinello to add a second, Open bike to his satellite Honda RC213V currently being ridden by Bradl.
Cecchinello denied that he was anywhere close to making a decision on expanding the team for 2015. “We have only just started to talk,” Cecchinello told us at Assen. He acknowledged though that an extra bike was now a real possibility, however, only if LCR and CWM can reach agreement on the necessary financial backing.
He was keen to emphasize that things were still at a very early stage, however.
The problem Cecchinello faces is that Honda is not keen to build any more production Honda RCV1000R machines at the current price they are being offered to the teams, around 1 million euros a season.
HRC boss Shuhei Nakamoto told us earlier this month that the costs of the production and satellite bikes are very similar. If Cecchinello wanted to run a production Honda, he would have to pay a sum similar to the amount paid for an RC213V. “We understand we will have to pay the full price,” Cecchinello said. That is the subject which LCR is discussing with CWM World.
Cecchinello has not even started considering riders for a possible second bike yet. “I do not want to tell them things I cannot deliver,” he said. The purpose of a second bike would be to act as a first step into MotoGP for young riders, coming through from Moto2.
Running a Moto2 team himself was not an option at the moment, Cecchinello said. His first priority was to expand to a two-rider Moto2 team, and then look at adding a Moto2 team.
Photo: © 2014 Tony Goldsmith / TGF Photos – All Rights Reserved
This article was originally published on MotoMatters, and is republished here on Asphalt & Rubber with permission by the author.