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LCR boss feels Honda's MotoGP approach "much more efficient" in 2024

LCR Honda MotoGP team owner Lucio Cecchinello welcomes the injection of resources by the Japanese manufacturer and considers the new working system implemented to be "much more efficient".

Johann Zarco, Team LCR Honda

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

The team founded by ex-racer Cecchinello has been competing with Honda equipment since its entry into the premier class in 2006 with Casey Stoner.

It has accumulated four victories since then, three with Cal Crutchlow and the most recent with Alex Rins at last year's United States Grand Prix, also the latest win for a Honda rider as the manufacturer finished 2023 last in the constructors' standings.

Speaking to Autosport, Cecchinello revealed that Honda faced a decision that could have had huge consequences for all parties involved in the world championship.

"Last year, due to the lack of competitiveness of the bike, Honda reached a point where it had to make a decision: either invest more in the MotoGP project or withdraw," he said.

"Honda chose to stay, because its DNA comes from motorcycles, even if they now make rockets to travel to space."

With the conviction to remain in the championship, the Japanese brand has turned attentions to developing a competitive bike as soon as possible.

"What I see this year is that there are a lot more Honda people involved," Cecchinello added.

"The Honda presidency has given clear indications that the competitiveness of the MotoGP project needs to be restored. And all of that starts with a greater willingness to make financial resources available."

Johann Zarco, Team LCR Honda

Johann Zarco, Team LCR Honda

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Honda is involved in a restructuring that has seen several key changes made during the last year and a half. It began when technical director Takeo Yokoyama was replaced by Ken Kawauchi, who arrived from Suzuki just over a year ago.

Then it was the turn of Shinichi Kokubu, the leader of the MotoGP project, who during the last Japanese Grand Prix was relieved by Shin Sato. The next to leave will be general manager Tetsuhiro Kuwata, whose post will in April be taken over by Taichi Honda. 

Honda's strategy to improve has been noted by LCR, with its riders Johann Zarco and Takaaki Nakagami fully connected to the factory team's garage at the Sepang and Qatar tests.

"This year, Honda has changed its approach to developing the bike," said Cecchinello.

"Until now, the first analysis was done by the test team, who then passed the parts to the official team, who in turn evaluated whether the parts were going well or not. Only then did they reach us when they were available.

"Now, the test team does its analysis and the parts are distributed among the four starter riders at the same time.

"HRC receives the findings and data from all four riders at the same time. It's a much more efficient system."

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