For the 2008 season
Almost as well renowned for his entrepreneurial skills as for his talents as a lower cylinder category rider, former 125cc and 250cc World Championship contender and now LCR Honda MotoGP Team Manager Lucio Cecchinello has explained his strategies for
supporting his outfit's premier class efforts.
The Italian has a long history of running teams in the lower cylinder categories, but has just two years of experience in the MotoGP category. The added cost of fielding a rider at the highest level was an obvious difficulty for newcomer Cecchinello, but the policies introduced in LCR Honda's rookie year have been continued with much success.
“Everybody knows that all the independent teams survive mainly thanks to their sponsors and it is useless to hide that the first year in the MotoGP class (2006) was very demanding. We were faced with expenses higher than the previous years and in order to develop we have been forced to design innovative services”, explains the former two stroke rider.
“Following this path, in just two years, we have strengthened/increased our commercial partners network and, since last September, we have started important investments in equipment, technology and human resources in order to better match our sport objectives."
LCR Honda's main innovation has been a revolving title sponsor scheme, involving main supporters TS Vision, GIVI and Eurobet, in which the priority and prominence given to each company is adjusted according to race locations and their target markets. This is something that the team will continue to implement this season.
Cecchinello's team have been gradually permitted to make their own changes, differentiating their package from other satellite teams.
Once again, innovation leads the way, as new rider Randy de Puniet has at his disposal suspensions manufactured by Ohlins, not typically a Honda MotoGP collaborator.
“This year we have been given the possibility to select some strategic suppliers and we have decided to use the suspensions made by Öhlins, so we can autonomously work on an extremely important element already tested by other factories”, says the forward thinking Team Manager. “The Team Technical Head, Christophe Bourguignon, was, at the beginning of his career, a technician working for Öhlins and also our current person responsible for suspensions, Hamish Jamieson, has a great experience in this sector. Both have worked with top level riders and have gained a sound experience in the factory teams involving them. Personally, I am very confident in their skills and I'm sure that they will be able to develop a motorbike “tailored” for Randy!”
DORNA / CAPSIS International