MIE Racing Honda will have a new sponsor for the upcoming WorldSBK season after teaming up with technological innovation company RDS Co, Ltd. 

RDS is a Japanese-based company that develops and manufactures advanced technology including design and structural analysis tools, CFRP, clay models, 3D printers and scanners, 5-axis processing machines, and motion capture equipment.

After spending the last two seasons as a one-rider team, MIE Racing Honda has become the fourth satellite team alongside Bonovo BMW, Pedercini Kawasaki and GRT Yamaha to have two riders on the grid. 

Leandro Mercado remains with the team for a third season and will be joined by former MotoGP and more recently Moto2 rider Hafizh Syahrin. 

It also means Honda have a total of four riders on the 2022 grid as Iker Lecuona and Xavi Vierge will be riding for the factory HRC team. 

Speaking about the partnership, MIE Racing Honda Team Owner, Midori Moriwaki said: "I am delighted to announce the new partnership with RDS Co., Ltd., a company that shares our vision and our strong orientation towards the future and that, like us, aspires to transform today’s dreams and projects into tomorrow’s reality. 

"We are challenging a new era and we believe that the racetrack is not just about competition but is also the research base for many important technologies that can be used in the future. 

"RDS & MIE will work as one, moving forward and developing exciting projects together.”

While this news marks RDS' first involvement with a WorldSBK team, they do have various other ties in motorsport, most notably with F1 team Alpha Tauri.

"RDS is honoured to announce a new partnership with MIE Racing," said Representative Director Anri Sugihara. "As well as its partnership with the Alpha Tauri team in F1 and Astemo Real Racing in Super GT, RDS has also been involved in a variety of other sports, carrying out R&D in wheelchair racing with Tomoya Ito as a test driver for example, and technically supporting athletes who raced in the Sochi and Beijing Paralympic Games and won a total of seven medals. 

"With its involvement in sport, RDS aims to introduce a new lifestyle as well as pursue a brighter future in terms of mobility, which is not limited to motorsport fans.  

"Regardless of the sport itself, we believe that you can only strive to become the fastest when R&D is pushed to the limit. All the technologies and data acquired through such activities will eventually form new daily standards for everyone. 

"I hope that this partnership will become a meaningful one among those who are already fans of motorsport, as well as open doors for newcomers so that they can see what this world is all about."