Honda's decision to wind down some of its activities in motorsport has claimed another victim after the company announced they are pulling out of the AMA Superbike Championship.
Although the Japanese manufacturer, which last week caused ripples of shock through the sport when they withdrew from Formula 1 with little warning, had assured their programmes in MotoGP, World Superbikes and British Superbikes remain unaffected, their factory involvement in the United States has been cut.
Blaming the current economic climate, which has prompted a severe downturn across the motor industry in recent weeks, for the decision, Honda's move is seen as particularly surprising given they were out on track earlier this week in readiness for the new AMA season.
Significantly, the decision means Neil Hodgson has been left without a ride for 2009, while it also leaves the AMA Series in a precarious position again as they lose another manufacturer.
Honda will continue to be represented in the series through the Erion Honda Racing and Corona Honda Racing teams, while they will honour an agreement to return to the 2009 Supercross and National Motocross Championship too.