Former 500GP race winner Tadayuki Okada has announced he will turn team owner in 2013 with the launch of the all-new Honda-backed Asia Team Tady outfit.
Runner-up in the 1997 500cc World Championship, Okada comes into Moto2 with the intention of nurturing young Asian talent at an international level, an endeavour that has in turn caught the imagination of Honda.
Indeed, the Japanese manufacturer's involvement in Okada's Moto2 team is the latest move in its attempts to capitalise on the growing Asian market and follows on from its backing of the one-make Asian Dream Cup Championship.
With this in mind, Honda Asia Team Tady will be an entirely Asian set up, the manufacturer set to work exclusively with Japanese chassis-maker Moriwaki in 2013 and enter a single bike for an as-yet-unconfirmed rider.
The latest chapter in Okada's long career, he is excited about the opportunity to head up a team with the significant backing of Honda.
“First of all, I'm very happy and very excited to inform people about my new team “Honda Asia Team Tady”, which will be launched in 2013. Since I had started road racing when I was 18, my dream was always to be a GP rider and be the World Champion.
“I had been making effort days and days for achieving to my goal, and finally I've got a chance to be supported by HONDA, being a HRC factory rider, and had won 250cc All Japan Championship 3 consecutive years in '89, '90 and '91.
After having won the championship three times in Japan, my ambitious had flown to World GP, and Honda had finally given me the great opportunity to challenge for GP for the first time in '93 and this had changed my entire life.”
“Starting from the 250cc class, and later in 500cc class, unfortunately I could not win the champion during my 8 years of GP carrier but finished 2nd in 500cc in '97, which was the best result for Japanese rider in 500cc class, and I really had great experiences battling with the world top riders together grace of the support of Honda.”
“Through my all the experiences of racing with Honda including the GP and WSBK ride, team manager of British Superbike, development of MotoGP machine, and racing advisor for young riders, my next target now is to give all these my experiences to young riders who are dreaming to be motorcycle world champion like I did, give them chances to have the same experience that I had done, and challenge again to make my dream comes true together with them.”
“Being a team manager in GP is the first time experience for me, but I'll give my best effort to make the competitive team, grow up the rider's skill and wish to play an active role in the paddock.”
Honda Asia Team Tady made its public debut in testing at Valencia with Yuki Takahashi on the Moriwaki.