– Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Is Honda Already Playing Hardball With Rossi?

It has become commonplace for manufacturers to allow MotoGP riders to practice with their new teams following the end of the series, even though contracts with prior teams typically expire on December 31. Colin Edwards is contracted with Aprilia through the end of the year, but you have seen him practice with his new Honda team a week ago. Yamaha allowed Max Biaggi to practice with Honda in a similar manner before Biaggi’s contract expired a year ago, and Honda returned the favor with Alex Barros (who switched from Honda to Yamaha at the same time).

Yamaha Photo of the Day

Yamaha wanted to begin testing with Valentino Rossi immediately, but Honda has refused to allow Rossi to ride the Yamaha before January of next year. Of course, this gives Rossi and Yamaha a bit less time to prepare for the 2004 series. Legally, of course, Honda has the right to prevent Rossi from riding another manufacturer’s bike before the expiration of his contract, which apparently expires on December 31, 2003. This is not in question. What is in question is Honda’s refusal to extend what has become a common courtesy in the MotoGP sport.

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