Key Honda technical director exits as major reshuffle begins

Shinichi Kokubu has left his role as technical director at Honda.

He is the first major exit from the Japanese manufacturer as they look to revamp their staff, in accordance with Marc Marquez’s demands.

Marquez wants Honda to hire Europe-based engineers to kickstart their competitiveness again although it may be too late for Honda to keep their star rider, who is tight-lipped about a move to Ducati.

But Kokubu, who was vital in building the RC213V, will not be part of Honda’s next step, Motorsport report.

Shinichi Kokubu, French MotoGP, 12 May
Shinichi Kokubu, French MotoGP, 12 May

He departs his job in the middle of the 2023 MotoGP season and, notably, during the Japanese MotoGP - his, and Honda’s, home race.

Kokubu was significantly absent from the Honda garage last weekend in India, and also this weekend at Motegi.

Kokubu joined Honda in 1986 and, for the past 11 years, has been the technical director, therefore hugely influential on Honda’s bike.

But that machine has fallen dramatically down the pecking order in the past two-and-a-half seasons, and Honda are currently last behind the other four manufacturers.

The sub-par standard of the bike is also likely to cost Honda their best rider, Marquez.

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