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Nov 7, 2002

Pramac, Biaggi Join Honda Pons MotoGP Team For 2003

<BR><BR>Copyright 2002, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.<BR><BR>Four-time 250cc World Champion Max Biaggi and sponsor Pramac have reached an agreement to join the Honda Pons team for 2003. <BR><BR>Pramac owner Paolo Campinotti is quoted on the Honda Pons website as saying, "We are very pleased to have reached an agreement with Honda Pons so that our rider may compete in the 2003 Championship. Our goal is to compete at the highest level possible and we feel that the combination of Max with Pramac and Honda Pons is a winning formula that will be a real contender for the World Championship. Pramac always strives to be the best in its field and we are looking forward to achieving further successes from our partnership with Max and with Honda Pons."<BR><BR>Honda Pons team owner, two-time 250cc World Champion Sito Pons is also quoted on his team's website as saying, "Max is a fantastic rider, a born winner, and we are convinced that in the right team with the right bike he will be World Champion. Max certainly has the skill and attitude to be World Number 1 and our job now is to give him the best equipment and support to achieve this goal. We know that there is a lot of work to do, but everyone in the team is relishing the challenge. Max joining the team is a real cause for excitement for us and everyone is looking forward to seeing him on the RC211V in the first preseason testing sessions. I am very pleased to have reached an agreement with Paolo Campinoti and Max so that we can compete together in 2003. Next season's championship promises to be a thrilling affair and no one should bet against Max taking Valentino's crown."<BR><BR>Honda Pons lost its West tobacco company sponsorship and its 2002 riders, Loris Capirossi signing with Ducati and Alex Barros signing with the Gauloises Yamaha Tech 3 squad.<BR><BR>Biaggi, 31, signed a three-year agreement with Italian engineering firm Pramac earlier this season, but the pairing did not have a team entry for the 2003 MotoGP season.<BR><BR>The agreement between Biaggi/Pramac and Honda Pons is for 2003 only. The announcement on the Honda Pons website goes on to name Antonio Cobas as the team's Technical Director, Santi Mulero as Biaggi's Chief Mechanic and states that a second rider will be announced in the next few days. Some reports from Europe indicate that Tohru Ukawa will likely be the second Honda Pons rider.<BR>