Honda Motor Europe, the FIM Europe and Youthstream yesterday confirmed their commitment and new partnership for the 150 European Championship, which is due to begin next month.
Honda and the FIM Europe recently announced changes to the planned 150 European series, with entries now being free for youngsters to race supplied CRF150R machinery over three rounds alongside the World Motocross Championship.
With the support from Youthstream, the FIM Europe is working closely with Honda and local federations to seek talented youngsters for scholarship rides in the series through a selection process controlled by the FIM Europe.
Riders will only need to turn up with their riding gear and a helper mechanic to race at the best tracks in the world with full medical support and mentoring from Honda, with the top prize being a ride with the Gariboldi Honda team in 2014* to contest the E-MX2 championship.
The selection camp, which will be held before the first round in Laustzring on July 27-28, will also give riders the opportunity to test the Honda CRF150R machine. The press conference in Maggiora, Italy confirmed a pledge from Honda, the FIM Europe and Youthstream to commit to young talent and the development of the sport. The series will be operated by Honda’s partner Racedays promotions.
Roger Harvey: Honda Motor Europe Off-Road Manager
“When we launched the series there was great interest with 120 riders registering for information. It was a good deal at EUR7950, with a free bike at the end of the year, but as time went on, the riders that actually entered the series and paid the subscription was reduced down to 12. We made an investigation, and a lot of the reason was basically families were committed to racing elsewhere or couldn’t afford to enter. We went back to Honda, and with the responsibility to the racing community, as well as a focus on helping young talent, they told us to reduce costs to allow riders to compete. So with the support of the FIM Europe and Youthstream, this is precisely what we have done. There is now no cost to the rider, other than travelling to the event and a hotel, so we will start off with a qualification day, which is basically the selection process. Also with the shortened rounds the re’s less travel costs involved now, and thanks to the support from the FIM Europe and Youthstream we are looking forward to a successful series.”
Alessandro Sambuco: FIM Europe Secretary General
“We continue to support Honda and it is a pleasure to work on this project, supporting Honda in difficult financial times. Together we will start the selection of the riders for Lausitzring. We have sent the information to all of the federations of the FIM Europe and we aim to find a good selection, taking into account the skills and physical condition of the riders, to make a strong competition in the 150 European Championship.”
Giuseppe Luongo: Youthstream President
“Youthstream is very passionate about working with the young riders. We believe in this project with Honda very much. It takes time to work on this kind of project and with Honda and Youthstream I think we have a lot of time and experience to make it work. I know this project will be a success, because it is aimed at the younger generation, which is where we will find the future champion of tomorrow. The way to attract the young rider is like this with almost a factory system of working, as Honda will organise the bikes. I am confident we can succeed in these events and for next year we will have the opposite problem with too many riders to select. When we started with the younger classes in the European championship, like last year in Matterley Basin, the people didn’t believe it would work, as it was the first time. Over time with the change in mentality and support of the riders, I am sure we can be confident of success and I am happy to work with this p roject.”
*Subject to meeting entry requirements, if not then an alternative prize will be awarded.