Honda Motor Europe, in conjunction with the FIM Europe, has announced an increased commitment to the Honda 150 European Championship, which has resulted in an amended calendar and new arrangements for riders, who will be selected to race a three-round series as part of the World Motocross Championship.
Following Honda’s announcement of a new one-make series with an all-inclusive package for riders aged 11-14 to compete on the Honda CRF150R at selected rounds of the World Motocross Championship, the response was overwhelming.
However, after extended communication with racing families worldwide, Honda recognizes that the ongoing financial crisis requires a fresh approach and different philosophy to nurture young talent.
Many riders were unable to commit fully to the original series, and, as a consequence, Honda has now pledged further investment, offering scholarship rides in the Honda 150 European Championship through a selection process controlled by FIM Europe.
The goal of the series is to develop young racing talent while investing heavily in the future of the sport by offering the opportunity for youngsters to compete on high-level tracks with good medical facilities in a world championship environment.
Thanks to the full support of motocross grands prix organizers, Youthstream, as well as FIM Europe, this renewed commitment from Honda will give many young racers an opportunity that wouldn’t be available to them otherwise. The series also offers the winner a place in the Gariboldi Honda team in 2014* to contest the E-MX2 championship.
The FIM Europe is currently working closely with Honda and riders will be selected during a two-day training event before the first round at Lausitzring on July 27-28. The training camp will also give riders the opportunity to test the Honda CRF150R machine and have some set-up time ahead of the race weekend.
With transportation and general maintenance undertaken by Honda’s partner, Racedays Promotions, the selected riders will simply need to arrive at the tracks with their riding gear and a mechanic helper to work on minor set-up adjustments before contesting three round of the Honda 150 European Championship on identical CRF150R machines.
Roger Harvey: Honda Motor Europe Off-Road Manager
“It’s been an interesting process to start this championship and understand even better the financial difficulty that the younger generation of riders are up against. While we know what we originally offered was great value, and we received many, many enquiries, we have realised over time that families have real financial constraints, and although we had a good number of entries, many others could not commit to the race series fully. For us it is important to try and help youngsters in as many countries as possible, particularly places that have little competition or good tracks to ride on, to ensure we help the next generation of racers both for Honda and for the future of the sport. With this in mind we went back to the drawing board and Honda has agreed to pay for the 150 European Championship, which will now offer rides by a selection process after finding a good solution with the FIM Europe. We are looking forward to the outcome and we are pleased with this new commitment, as it’s important to grow up young riders; particularly those who may have limited opportunities due to where they live or a lack of access to support. Competitors have the opportunity of racing in the E-MX2 Championship by winning the series, and they will only need to turn up with their gear and a mechanic helper to race in front of the Grand Prix paddock.”
Vincenzo Mazzi: FIM Europe President
“Honda Motor Europe has shown great sensitivity to the younger generation, ensuring that they are given the best opportunity to participate in a championship that will continue their sporting development. The FIM Europe will play its part by providing technical staff, as it has already delivered for previous similar initiatives.”
Honda European 150 Championship calendar
July 28 – Lausitzring, Germany
August 18 – Bastogne, Belgium
August 25 – Matterley Basin, UK