American Honda Team Will Race In Superbike Only In 2002, Handing Off Supersport And Xtreme To Erion

American Honda Team Will Race In Superbike Only In 2002, Handing Off Supersport And Xtreme To Erion

© 2001, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.

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A press release issued by American Honda reveals that the company’s AMA team will compete in the Superbike class only, leaving 600cc Supersport and Formula Xtreme to the Erion Racing squad and the affiliated Bruce Transportation Group team.

The announcement means that Miguel Duhamel will no longer race in 600cc Supersport.

Also note that Mike Hale is racing for Erion Racing; at the Honda dealer convention on Wednesday, Honda VP Ray Blank mis-spoke and said Hale was riding for the Bruce Transportation team.

Text of the release follows:

Las Vegas, NV
American Honda announced their 2002 Motorcycle Racing Teams at the company’s annual dealer show Wednesday night, September 19 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Motorcycle Division Vice President Ray Blank said, “Motorcycling is really about performance, and the ultimate yardstick is racing. For 2002, our race teams will literally define Performance First. Their success is very important to Honda’s research and development. And it’s important to our customers, who know that Honda builds and races the best products in the world.”

Honda racing teams have amassed 90 motocross, Supercross, roadracing and off-road championships in AMA competition, more than any other manufacturer.

Supercross and motocross racing

The Honda Motocross Team welcomes the 2001 American Motorcyclist Association’s (AMA) Supercross and National Motocross Champion Ricky Carmichael to the Red Riders for 2002! The seven-time AMA Champion will lead the Honda charge on Honda’s all-new CR250R. Carmichael’s introduction to the enthusiastic dealers foretells Honda’s dominance in the upcoming 2002 Supercross and motocross seasons.

Sebastien Tortelli returns to the Honda, hungry to capture the 250-series outdoor championship that eluded him in the 2001 season. Though Tortelli is known for his outdoor motocross expertise, he is also a legitimate Supercross championship contender and his hard-charging race ethic should earn him many victories next season.

Two more motocross talents join the factory Red Rider effort for 2002. 2001 AMA Western Region 125cc Supercross Champion Ernesto Fonseca will campaign a CR250R in both AMA Supercross and outdoor motocross for 2002. Honda Racing also welcomes Nathan Ramsey, 1999 Western Region 125cc Supercross Champion who will race Honda’s vaunted CRF450R four-stroke motocrosser in both series.

Ironman Mike LaRocco will Ride Red again in 2002 aboard a Honda CR250R, racing for the Factory Connection Team. Mike finished the 2001 Supercross series third in points; he was fourth overall in the outdoor motocross series. Joining LaRocco next season will be Michael Byrne, Christopher Gosselaar and Travis Preston. All three riders will compete on Honda CR125Rs in the Supercross and national motocross series.


Road racing

Honda’s 2002 Road Racing Team will focus exclusively on the AMA’s Superbike championship. Three exciting racers will ride Honda’s RVT1000R RC51 in their quest for victory.

20-year-old roadracing star Nicky Hayden nears the conclusion of his second full season in Superbike racing with three consecutive Superbike wins under his belt, the first rider to do so this year. His late season charge finds him in near-perfect form for a championship run in the 2002 season.

Multi-time AMA Champion Miguel Duhamel returns to Honda Racing for 2002, having won more AMA Superbike and 600 Supersport races than any rider in history, along with a record five 600 Supersport titles and a Superbike championship. Duhamel’s renowned race craft makes him a serious title threat as he focuses exclusively on Superbike competition in 2002.

Last year’s AMA/Pro Honda Oils 600 Supersport Champion Kurtis Roberts will campaign an Erion Racing-liveried RC51 for 2002. Roberts has ridden consistently well this year since mid-season arm surgery took him out of title contention in the 600 Supersport and Superbike series. Watch for Roberts to be a regular podium finisher in 2002 Superbike competition.

Honda’s all-new CBR954RR and returning CBR600F4i will anchor the Honda-supported Erion Racing Team and Bruce Transportation Group efforts in the AMA’s 2002 Formula Xtreme and Pro Honda Oils 600 Supersport series. Moving up from a successful inaugural season with the Bruce Group is a familiar Hayden name, 18-year old Roger Lee Hayden. Nicky’s younger brother earned the Erion saddle with consistent finishes in both series this year and he takes a back seat to no one when he is on the track.

Joining the Erion Racing Team will be a rider familiar to Honda racing aficionados, none other than former Smokin’ Joe’s Honda factory rider Mike Hale. Hale, who is best remembered for his meteoric rise in 600 Supersport and Superbike racing in 1994-1995, will bring his exciting racing style to the increasingly competitive 600 Supersport and Formula Xtreme series.

Honda will announce the signing of the Bruce Transportation Group riders in the near future.


Off road racing

Six-time Baja winner Johnny Campbell will anchor Honda’s 2002 desert racing effort. Last November, Campbell teamed with Tim Staab, Steve Hengeveld and Craig Smith to take the overall win in the toughest, most grueling Baja ever, the 1700-mile Baja 2000. Look for the off-road Red Riders to extend Honda’s dominance in 2002 aboard the race-proven aluminum-framed XR650R.

Scott Summers, nine-time off-road champion and a true ambassador to the sport, announced his retirement before a standing ovation from Honda dealers. Summers will continue to work with the Honda Riders Club of America promoting off-road riding to youth of all ages.


About Honda

American Honda Motor Co., Inc. is the sole distributor of Honda motorcycles, ATVs, scooters and personal watercraft in the U.S. American Honda’s Motorcycle Division conducts the sales, marketing, and operational activities for these products through Honda authorized dealers. For further information about Honda products, racing teams, programs, and dealer locations, visit the Honda web site at: www.honda.com.

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