The Moriwaki Althea Honda Team has officially launched its 2019 WSBK project during a presentation held just a short distance from the Phillip Island circuit in Australia, where racing is set to get underway over the weekend of 22-24 February.
The important event gave the Moriwaki Althea Honda Team the opportunity to introduce key team members and riders Leon Camier and Ryuichi Kiyonari to the national and international press, and, most importantly, to unveil this year’s race bike, the Honda CBR1000RR SP2.
The first of the day’s speakers was Motorcycle Department Manager of Motor Sports Division of Honda Motor Co., Ltd. Mr. Soichi Yamana, who introduced the new project and the expectation for the upcoming season.
Mr Yamana was followed onto the stage by both Moriwaki Althea Honda Team Director Ms. Midori Moriwaki and Moriwaki Althea Honda Team Manager Mr. Genesio Bevilacqua, who expanded on their previous experiences and shared history.
Last but certainly not least, riders Leon Camier and Ryuichi Kiyonari unveiled the 2019 livery of the CBR1000RR SP2, the red, blue and yellow colour scheme making a real impact on stage.
“It’s a real honour to be involved in this project with the support of Honda, and the experience of both Moriwaki and Althea. It’s all new of course, and that means we have a lot of work ahead of us, but I think we have good potential and I’m excited to see what we can do. It will be good to get out on track with our rivals this week and understand where we are. There is a lot to work on as I’ve said, the bike having been developed in a different championship, but we’re ready for the challenge. Our main goal is to improve race by race.”
“I am very excited to have this opportunity to return to World Superbike and I thank Honda, Moriwaki and Althea for putting their trust in me. A lot has changed since I was last in the championship, in 2009, and I think the level is now a lot higher with many fast riders. Having said that, I have worked hard in recent years and hope I can continue to grow this season with my new bike and new team; I am very motivated and believe we can work together to achieve some good results.”
“Honda has competed in WSBK since the beginning and the series has allowed us to develop higher performance products and provide further feedback to develop new machines. This feedback loop has given Honda many victories and championships, both when we competed with Factory Teams and also when we decided to continue our campaign under the guidance of satellite teams from 2003. Today another chapter begins. This year we have strengthen our project in WSBK, and aim to reach greater heights with our new partners Moriwaki and Althea. Moriwaki, as we all know, is a team with an outstanding track record. Althea Racing is also a team that knows how to win races, and has been a partner of Moriwaki for many years. As riders, we have Leon Camier who has repeatedly shown his potential in WSBK racing, and Ryuichi Kiyonari, a superbike specialist. I believe that as our riders gain experience, they will lead the team in the right direction.”
“Of course today’s official Moriwaki Althea Honda Team launch marks a very special moment for all of us. I wish to thank Honda, HRC, Althea and Moriwaki and everybody involved in this project for putting in an incredible effort in order to make this happen. We know that this is going to be a challenging season of course but it will also be an exciting one. I have known our riders Leon Camier and Ryuichi Kiyonari for a long time and I know they are fighters, both highly motivated and ready to give one hundred per cent to this project. We are ready and looking forward to start!”
“Today is a very special day for all of us, and this new project a very exciting one. Together with Honda and Moriwaki we form a “dream team”, and I am honoured to represent the outfit as Team Manager. The energy that HRC is putting into this new adventure spurs us all on to do our very best. We know that the challenge we face is not an easy one, but we will give it our all. I thank Midori Moriwaki, Honda and everyone who supports us on this new journey”.