Honda World Motocross and their new (and as yet unannounced) 2015 MXGP line-up will be undergoing an intense testing period this month in Italy after abandoning plans for their traditional jaunt to Japan and participation in the final round of the All-Japan Championship at the Sugo circuit.

“We will try for Italy,” commented General Manager Roger Harvey. “Normally it is Japan but you can have bad weather there at this time. We’ve looked at it and thought ‘let’s try something different’. It will run over the course of one week with many new items to go through. Normally we test at Sugo and Fujisawa and we know the former from the Grand Prix but it has been wet on a number of occasions. The latter has been cold! But it is a sandy track and we’ve had some good sessions there. Overall Italy should still be good in October.”

Harvey admitted that initial work with an enlarged group of Japanese staff will take place around the 2014 CRF450RWs that were raced with Max Nagl and Evgeny Bobryshev this year and the technology that helped the German win the State of Goias Grand Prix in Brazil and finish on the podium a week later in Mexico. “We start with the bikes we have because it is a development programme on those machines and we work on everything,” he revealed. “There is no specific target area. More refinements on the product we have.”


Honda finished 2014 with their tails up thanks to Nagl’s success overseas – the factory team’s first overall win since 2011 – and according to the British chief it was more due to an accumulation of factors rather than any technical work done during the August summer break. “It was a combination of the work done during the year and through Max coming to fitness,” he opines. “The whole thing clicked at the same time and that is how you get to achieve good results. We got the bike very good and to suit Max. He got fit and confident at the right moment.”

Winner in Mexico and undisputed star of the 68th Motocross of Nations in Latvia, Gautier Paulin, has been linked with the team for months. Bobryshev is also allegedly committed for a fifth season. One of the reasons that the team have not made any public showing or decree of their new line-up has to do with their status with HRC and the formality of presenting 2015 racing plans that also involves MotoGP, Rally, Trial and, once again, Formula One. “Hopefully [it will happen] before the end of this year but it has to tie-in with our other motorsports activities and that now involves cars in a big way,” said Harvey. “We’ve seen our motocross riders standing next to Pedrosa and Marquez in the past so they are integrating a lot of what goes on.”

Bobryshev has made a recovery from his devastating leg break at the Grand Prix of Italy in June and has already been making laps on his CRF450RW. Speaking at the Nations in Latvia the Russian said he plans to working and training for most of November in Spain before heading to Italy for much of December.