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Old 07-03-2012, 08:40 AM   #29
doyle
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Joined: Jan 2004
Location: Off Piste
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My bet is that this is an all Honda affair. If it carries HRC's initials and not Honda Europe or a more national arm, then I suspect this is a full factory effort, run and ruled by Japan with perhaps some strategic management from seasoned sources. Honda also doesn't make announcements lightly. If they say they will have a new bike for 2013, it'll be there and not on a shoestring budget.

Helder is a good bet but I wonder if HRC didn't try to lure Despres or Coma. My gut tells me that neither one is in a career position to want to start over growing a new team from scratch. I'd expect another year or two with KTM and then a move to 4 wheels.

It's a solid lineup for HRC if not a little bit conservative, but I guess that is Honda's signature. Helder is fast, mostly reliable, but most importantly, not accident or injury prone. Zanol was dead reliable this year for his first. A very impressive run and well worth a factory ride. Pizzolito has the experience, but perhaps not the speed, a good mid-front pack finisher while Sam Sunderland adds some flair and speed if not a bit too much youthful exhuberance.

It will be a great year.
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