MotoGP »

Honda Pons - Motegi's Rossi stopper!

World Champion Valentino Rossi suffering three successive defeats at the same circuit by the same MotoGP team - doesn't sound likely does it? But that's exactly what's happened at Motegi for the past three seasons...

For while Rossi has steamrollered the opposition into submission on his way to four premier-class world titles (and a fifth could be claimed this weekend) one team has consistently stood up to the Italian at the home of their constructer.

That team is Honda Pons, whose riders Alex Barros, Max Biaggi and Makoto Tamada have brought a temporary but refreshing halt to Rossi's amazing assault by respectively winning the last three grands prix at Motegi (pictured) - with Rossi left runner-up on each occasion.

Team principle Sito Pons knows all about winning both from the saddle and from the pit wall, but even the articulate Spaniard finds it hard to actually pin point the reasons for his team's domination of Motegi for the last three years - not that he's complaining.

"I think the fact that Motegi is the home of our Constructer Honda must have given us wings," said a smiling Pons. "It's difficult to explain just why we have been so successful in Motegi. Of course we always try to do our very best in Japan which is such an important race for Honda and our sponsors but we also put in the same effort and dedication at all the other MotoGP venues."

That first win for the team three years ago was probably the most dramatic in a season of transition between 500cc two-strokes and 990cc four-strokes.

Throughout a very tough season, Barros and Loris Capirossi had battled gallantly against the odds on the ageing two-strokes against the mighty new 990cc new boys on the block, until round 13 of the title chase at Motegi.

The Honda Pons team were given one of the new all conquering RC211V four-strokes for the very first time. One bike and two riders, it was an agonising decision by the team who would ride the new machine. After much deliberation it went to Brazilian Barros.

The performance by both riders, one in joy and the other in disappointment, in the 24 lap race not only was testimony to their skill and commitment but also to the man management skill of the team principle.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Alex Barros punches the air with delight after taking victory at Motegi - his first ever race on an RCV.
The MotoGP podium at Motegi: Biaggi (1st), Rossi (2nd) and Tamada (3rd) - Tamada would later be excluded for `dangerous riding`.
Tamada, Japanese MotoGP Race 2004
Rossi, San Marino Moto3 Race 2014
Louis Rossi, San Marino Moto2 Race 2014
Louis Rossi, San Marino Moto2 Race 2014
Louis Rossi, San Marino Moto2 Race 2014
Louis Rossi, San Marino Moto2 Race 2014
Louis Rossi, San Marino Moto2 Race 2014
Louis Rossi, San Marino Moto2 Race 2014
Louis Rossi, San Marino Moto2 Race 2014
Pons, Moto2, San Marino MotoGP 2014
Rossi, San Marino MotoGP Race 2014
Rossi, San Marino MotoGP Race 2014
Rossi, San Marino MotoGP Race 2014
Rossi, San Marino MotoGP Race 2014
Rossi, San Marino MotoGP Race 2014
Rossi, San Marino MotoGP Race 2014

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.