Karel Abraham has confirmed that the Cardion AB team is close to reaching a deal to use the new Honda 'Production Racer' in the 2014 MotoGP World Championship.
“Well, we haven't signed so far. So it is still in discussion. But we really hope we will [sign] soon,” said Abraham, speaking on the eve of his home Czech round at Brno.
“I haven't seen the bike yet and I haven't heard that much about it, only that it seems similar to the [Honda] prototype. I'm really curious to see it on the track.”
The privateer Honda is a toned down version of the full RC213V, featuring steel rather than pneumatic valves and using a conventional rather than seamless shift gearbox. As dictated by the privateer rules, the bike must be fitted with the full control ECU system, but is also eligible for extra fuel and engine changes relative to the factory bikes.
Former Moto2 race winner Abraham has scored just five points so far this year, using Aprilia's privateer CRT class bike, having missed three races due to injury, including last weekend's Indianapolis round.
Abraham and Cardion spent their first two MotoGP seasons on satellite Ducati machinery.
Honda initially stated that it expected to supply five riders with the new privateer machines, which have a price target of one million euros, but the only team other than Cardion currently being linked to the bike is Gresini.
Since Honda announced its Production Racer, Yamaha has made available privateer machinery even closer to factory-spec - and has agreed terms with Forward Racing - while Ducati is considering fitting the control ECU to this year's Desmosedici to create a 2014 privateer machine.
The four factory entries from each manufacturer must also use the new control ECU hardware next year, but will be able to continue with their own software, in return for the race fuel and engine change penalties.