Honda pulls out of AMA Superbike

Daytona Sportbike status unclear

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Sep. 21, 2009
American Honda is shutting down its AMA American Superbike program.

The manufacturer announced Sept. 18 it will not participate in the series, saying “the current AMA/DMG racing environment does not align with our company goals.”

Honda scaled back its AMA Pro Racing efforts in December 2008, pulling its factory program and contracting team resources including crew and contracted rider Neil Hodgson to the Corona Extra Honda team.

Hodgson finished 11th in the final American Superbike rider standings despite missing six races after suffering a collapsed lung in a motocross crash. Jake Holden joined the team during Hodgson’s absence and finished the season with Corona Extra Honda in tenth place. The team’s best result was Hodgson’s second-place finish in the season-opening round at Daytona International Speedway.

Neil Hodgson and other Honda-contracted personel will not have their contracts renewed.

Honda said in a release that the team’s results in AMA Superbike racing “did not meet our racing goals and objectives.” Honda staff working for Corona Extra will not have their contracts renewed and all other assets will be put into storage for “future consideration.”

Honda’s announcement only referred to its Superbike racing program. The status of the factory-supported Erion Honda Daytona Sportbike team is still unknown. Racers Jake Zemke and Chris Peris finished sixth and seventh, respectively, in the final rider standings with four podium results and a victory. Honda’s Daytona Sportbike results were better than its American Superbike results but the statement about the AMA/DMG racing environment does not bode well for Erion Racing.

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