As expected, the Camel Honda team has officially announced that it will field Troy Bayliss and Alex Barros in the 2005 MotoGP world championship. Both riders will be using Michelin tyres.

"For the third consecutive year, the prestigious Camel brand will take part in the MotoGP world championship," confirmed Roberto Zanni, worldwide marketing and sales senior vice-president at JT International. "The thrilling exploits of the Camel Honda team will continue in earnest in 2005, with a brand new line-up.

"We welcome our two new riders, Troy Bayliss and Alex Barros, to whom I wish a season full of satisfaction and success. I would like to thank Honda for lending their support once more, and for having contributed to the continuity of our MotoGP project.

"I am certain that the RC211V, our team, and our riders will hold the Camel name up high next season, on the long and challenging road that is the MotoGP world championship," he concluded.

Bayliss, World Superbike champion in 2001, joins Camel Honda after spending his first two years competing in the premier GP class with the factory Ducati team.

The exciting Australian scored four podium finishes in that time, although a maiden MotoGP victory has so far eluded him. Troy will be assisted in 2005 by Santiago Mulero, as his head technician, and Ram?n Aur?n, as his telemetry engineer.

Barros will be returning to the Spanish based team after having spent four seasons with Honda Pons from 1999 to 2002, during which time he won 5 GPs and scored 14 podium finishes.

The Brazilian - one of the most experienced riders in the paddock, with over 240 GPs to his name - rode for the factory Repsol Honda outfit this year and will continue to work alongside Ram?n Forcada, his head technician for the 2004 season, and with whom he worked throughout his previous time with Honda Pons. Lluis Lleonart will be his telemetry engineer.

"After two highly successful seasons the Camel Honda team now moves up a gear with the incorporation of two highly gifted and experienced riders," stated team owner Sito Pons. "With Alex and Troy leading the charge, I am confident that the yellow Camel Honda bikes will be constantly battling for the leading positions in every race.

"I would like to thank Honda, Camel, Correos and the other team sponsors for their constant support and whilst we clearly have a lot of hard work ahead of us this winter, I am confident that this exciting new project will bring much success to everyone concerned once the 2005 championship gets underway in April in Jerez," he added.

2004 Camel Honda riders' Max Biaggi and Makoto Tamada, who won three races between them this season, have thus finally been confirmed as leaving.

Biaggi, currently recovering from lower leg injuries, will be named alongside Nicky Hayden at Repsol Honda while Tamada is expected to ride a seventh Honda for a to-be-announced new team.

Today's news also officially marks the end of the Pramac (and Bridgestone) collaboration with Pons. Pramac rented one half of the Camel Honda garage to run Tamada this year, but have been linked with operating the Aprilia team in 2005.

 

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