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Scot out of MotoGP, de Angelis deal sunk
10 November 2009
Scot Honda has announced that, despite being close to an agreement with Alex de Angelis for the 2010 season, it has been forced to withdraw from the MotoGP class.
Scot expanded into MotoGP via a partnership with JiR in 2008, when Andrea Dovizioso took a podium finish on his way to an excellent fifth in the world championship, as the top satellite rider.
Having split from JiR, Scot hit financial problems early in 2009, forcing Yuki Takahashi to be dropped after round seven in favour of well-financed Hungarian Gabor Talmacsi. However the former 125cc world champion remained a fixture at the back of the field and has dropped down to the new Moto2 class for 2010.
Although a new satellite Honda MotoGP team has been formed to run Scot's 250cc world champion Hiroshi Aoyama next year, Honda was willing to supply a seventh RCV for Scot - if the team could find the funding to race on.
Former Gresini Honda rider Alex de Angelis had been closely linked to the Scot project, which was thought to include Sammarinese government backing. Scot has confirmed that it was close to an agreement with de Angelis, but missed Honda's deadline for a decision.
'Honda has declared itself unable to deliver the bike due to expired time limit relevant to the request' said a team statement.
"After the happiness of winning the world championship in the 250cc class for me and for the whole team this is a great disappointment, that no reward for all the work done over the years," said team manager Cirano Mularoni. "Now we just have to concentrate on the Moto2 project."
It is also a great disappointment for de Angelis, who now looks to have no chance of staying in MotoGP for a third season.
de Angelis took a best race finish of fourth during an accident-packed rookie 2008 season - but balanced speed and control much better for most of 2009, culminating in a debut podium finish with second at Indianapolis.
That result came too late to save his Gresini seat - the San Carlo backed team announcing an all-new Marco Simoncelli/Marco Melandri 2010 line-up in mid-August - and Alex's podium was followed by two DNFs, before a return to form with fourth in Australia.
de Angelis finished the season eighth in the world championship with 111 points, compared with just 63 (and 14th overall) during last season's full 18 rounds. Team-mate Toni Elias, who had a factory spec bike, finished four points and one place ahead of him.
Like Elias, de Angelis is most likely to seek a Moto2 seat for 2010, although he may also have options in WSBK.
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