News 5 Sep 2017

Motologic to close Team Honda Racing program at end of 2017

Honda Australia yet to confirm factory direction from 2018 season.

Image: Jeremy Hammer (Foremost Media).

Team Honda Racing principal Paul Free has confirmed that the Victorian-based Motologic business will close altogether including its racing division at the conclusion of the 2017 season, with Honda yet to indicate what it is planning for the future of its domestic racing program.

Free has been involved in Honda Australia’s factory road racing effort since 2002 with an incredible run of success – first in-house before forming his own operation in 2007 – and has also operated the motocross/supercross program over the past two years.

“In the time I have run Honda’s factory team we have enjoyed huge success,” Free commented. “I am really proud of what we have achieved, we have won so many championships along the way with the various riders and machines.

“I have worked with some amazing people over the years and it is these people that have really contributed to our success. To name a few, Laura my wife, always there for me through thick and thin. Glyn Griffiths and Tony Hinton at Honda have been there from my initial job interview at Honda back in 2002, these guys unwavering support has been a lifeline at times.

“Garry House was there when it all started and he was my rock for five or six years. Luke Spence, a fantastic person and tech. Shaun Clarke has been with me since starting in-house at Honda and has now developed into one of the best technicians in the country – Shaun’s knowledge and ability to think through problems is unsurpassed.

“Our support staff at the track have been invaluable. Glenn Granger has been with the team since the mid 2000s, Dan Williams since 2010, both fantastic technicians that are just so focused, totally committed to the cause.

“Our determination to succeed is unwavering and is fuelled by the invaluable support of our sponsors and team supporters. A huge thanks must go out to our current and past sponsors and supporters, of which there are way too many to list. None of our successes would have been possible without your help.”

Honda Motorcycles Australia brand and motorsport manager Glyn Griffiths thanked Free for his contributions over the 15-year term, which has resulted in national championships with Adam Fergusson (Superbike/Supersport 2004), Josh Brookes (Superbike/Supersport 2005), Glenn Allerton (Superbike 2008), Wayne Maxwell (Superbike 2014) and Troy Herfoss (Superbike 2015-2016).

“It has been a privilege to work with Paul for the last 15 years, his hard work and dedication to the team and to racing are second to none and we can’t thank him enough for everything he has done for Honda’s factory effort here in Australia,” Griffiths said. “His loyalty to the brand is commendable and the many successes Honda has had over the years in racing are a testament to Paul and his staff, their work ethic and drive to win.”

The announcement, which has been rumoured for some time but only made official this afternoon, leaves Honda’s factory operation up in the air looking ahead to 2018. Their involvement is expected to continue at the factory level, however it’s understood structures and the specifics of any potential programs are still to be determined prior to any confirmation.

With Troy Herfoss – expected to remain with Honda – and Bryan Staring currently contracted to Motologic’s Australian Superbike Championship organisation, plus Todd Waters and Luke Clout forming the factory MX Nationals and Australian Supercross Championship squad, Team Honda Racing’s exit will have significant implications on the current silly season.