1 January 1901
JiR Team Scot is born!
"I am pleased with our agreement, which is the meeting point of two companies in the motorcycling world, leading to a joint-venture that optimises their effort for a common global project," declared Giovanni Torri, president of Scot Group.
JiR, which raced as Konica Minolta Honda for the past three seasons, lost its title sponsor for 2008 - but 'JiR Team Scot' will retain RC212V machinery on which Dovizioso, the 250cc World Championship runner-up for the past two seasons, will make his much anticipated premier-class debut.
"Being part of the MotoGP class is a dream come true, a goal pursued with hard work and efforts," declared Dovi, a former 125cc world champion and a Scot Honda rider ever since his 2002 grand prix debut. "Now I feel ready to jump into this category following my experience in the quarter-litre class, a category experiencing an increased level of competition compared to the past.
"I just regret not being able to enter MotoGP as the world champion of 250cc, where I proved my skills and fought to the end," admitted the Italian, who has lost out to 2008 Fiat Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo, riding an Aprilia, for the past two seasons. "I am very happy to race in MotoGP alongside Honda and those people who have grown with me as a rider. Facing such a challenge with people I feel at home with gives me the necessary energy, serenity and harmony. I wish to experience a good season: I look forward to starting!"
JiR's Gianluca Montiron will remain as director of the new team, with Team Scot's Cirano Mularoni fulfilling the role of team manager.
"Lining up a talented Italian rider such as Andrea Dovizioso – young, fast, and motivated – is a great satisfaction for my MotoGP team," said Montiron. "In the 250cc class we will pursue the project dedicated to Japanese riders that we started in 2002 with Tetsuya Harada. Given the ongoing generational changes in the MotoGP class, I believe we need to invest in young riders."
"It is a great pleasure for us to announce such an agreement, with MotoGP being our highest target ever," added Mularoni. "Next season will be our seventh consecutive year that we share personally and professionally with Andrea. This is certainly a record in the Motorcycle World Championship, which confirms the continuity of our work. We will be committed to the lower classes as well since they represent a key step for the next generation or rising stars. For this reason next year we will again run Yuki Takahashi in the 250cc class, looking for him to naturally progress into the premier class at a later time."
"I am happy to stay in a category I am desperate to master!" said Takahasi, a double 250GP winner in 2006 but winless this season. "I wish to thank Cirano Mularoni, Giovanni Torri and Luca Montiron for the help and encouragement they have given me from the start of our relationship back in 2005 when I entered the Motorcycle World Championship. They believe in me and believe in a program involving my future in MotoGP, the class in which Andrea will debut next season and to whom I say good luck!"
Konica Minolta Honda ran Shinya Nakano in the 2007 MotoGP World Championship.
Click on relevant pic to enlarge
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