How serious is Honda about winning the 2011 MotoGP World Championship? At Team Gresini’s MotoGP launch at Monza today, it was quietly confirmed that the San Carlo Honda Gresini squad has been given the keys to the candy store, turning the team into a factory-backed effort. While Marco Simoncelli was already assured factory support from Honda for the 2011 season, the move adds Hiroshi Aoyama to the factory rider list, and likely makes Gresini’s life infinitely less complex by not having to manage between a factory and non-factory split garage.

Team Gresini will now get full access to the Honda’s technical staff and data acquisition from the other factory riders — meaning every Honda rider except Toni Elias. This bodes well for the squad, as Simoncelli looked very promising at Sepang (likely a factor adding in this announcement), and of course Honda is keen not to see its only countrymen in the series (Aoyama) excluded from having the best equipment.

“Today is a factory team a hundred percent,” said Team Principal Fausto Gresini (translated from Italian to English via Google). “And I feel much more official than in the past for the opening of the Honda against us: we now have access to all data and Honda placed his staff between our technical team. If you see the box you understand that our team is official.”

Cramming the MotoGP grid full of factory riders seems like an interesting way to better the Honda’s chances for success, although it remains to be seen how having five hungry mouths to feed with technical support will work for the Japanese manufacturer, and who, if anyone, will get top priority with development efforts.

In addition to its five factory riders, Honda has already had to tip its hand regarding its new faster-shifting transmission, after accusations that Honda was using an illegal DCT arose from the Italian press. At the latest Sepang test, the 2011 Honda RC212V looked assuredly faster when compared to the Yamaha, Ducati, and Suzuki MotoGP efforts. It’s far too early to make analogies to the 2011 season, but Honda has certainly thrown down its challenge. It’ll be interesting to see how the other teams respond.

Source: GPone

  • Westward

    It really seems like the best solution for other manufacturers too. Here’s hoping Tech3 gets the same, though I feel that Pramac and Aspar kind of already are…

  • Pramac is basically a training ground for Ducati Corse mechanics. They all eat together, share info, etc. It’s certainly much more than a satellite effort, but not quite a factory one. Can’t say much about Aspar’s squad, it wouldn’t surprise me though.

  • Harb

    This season looks like it could be quite boring for anyone who isnt a fan of Honda. Hopefully they arent quite as dominant as this preseason stuff suggests…

  • vonich

    I don’t think honda will be as dominant as it was bach then. Whereas all the top rider is riding honda machine. now we have four alien and three hoping to be are in three different manufacturer. This years honda’s strutegy is to launch a four rider attack actually its five including hiro, but soon it will come down to two rider that they will support or focus on half way through the season and that is stoner and dani unless the script has change where we could see dovi and marco having a great year beating out stoner and dani. As for yamaha rider they will be strong no matter how fast the honda bikes now. lol and for Rossi? oh well he is rossi right? so there is nothing to say about the guy. he has done anything and probe everybody wrong countless times. so i won’t leave out in the cold looking in to get hot. he will be there no matter what his position right now.

  • KK

    Well, i guess i better start liking honda now…

  • William

    I think if this is true Aoyama will take Simoncelli, He practiced without full support at Sepang. They were holding up full support there and he did not have the advantage the others did. I like Simoncelli but think with his riding style he will eat those tires up. Qualifying is different than a full race.

    The Japanese have always been looking for one of their own, I cannot remember the Race last year but both these riders battled it out and even after Simo’s rough tactics Aoyama took him. Plus he had a bad accident that hurt his back.

  • 76

    Sorry, show me the Japanese rider that actually won a championship? They choke, every time, its in the script.

  • Honda is going to make a good season in 2011 with these five riders and how they show up in Sepang tests, the RC212V is very fast.

    But, what about Toni Elias? Isn’t he a Honda rider? Why is not going to be supported by Honda factory as Marco Simoncelli and Hiroshi Aoyama as he is the 2010 Moto2 champion? I think Elias deserves that support as equal as Honda Gresini riders.

  • cn

    @76 Didn’t Aoyama beat Simoncelli to the 250cc World Championship in 2009?