Friday, March 27, 2009

MotoGP: LCR Honda, Playboy get together for 2009


Playboy comes to MotoGP, with LCR Honda. Yes!

Pics: LCR Honda

This year, the LCR Honda MotoGP team is really coming out to play. Boy! The satellite Honda team will start the 2009 season with a new title sponsor – Playboy.

‘Playboy Italy has positively assessed the project and confirmed the sponsorship for the early stage of the season, linking it to their activities in the view of re-launching the magazine in Italy. Currently, there are further ongoing negotiations with licensees in more countries, who have been presented with our ‘projects by event’ concept, which does not imply any millionaire investments,’ says LCR Honda team boss, Lucio Cecchinello.

Cecchinello also believes that Randy De Puniet, who’s riding for LCR Honda again this year, will have more competitive machinery this time. ‘It’s clear that 2007 and 2008 for the independent teams were not easy years. Since the 800cc class made its appearance, it has become harder than ever to compete with the factory teams. Now we are approaching a phase where the factories can even supply the satellite teams with the state-of-the-art technologies and this will make us more competitive,’ he says.

Honda, in particular, has really made a big effort for 2009 by giving us the same engines as the ones they use, featuring pneumatic valve technology and all the relevant managing software. Now it’s up to us, working hard with Randy to be ready to battle and, where possible, challenge the factory riders,’ says Cecchinello.

‘The first impression I got from the bike was very positive. The engine is more competitive compared to last year’s, especially as far as its maximum speed is concerned,’ says De Puniet. ‘Last year wasn’t as easy and we didn’t achieve the results we were hoping for, therefore I trust this season to be the best with the LCR Team. I believe our potential is higher this year and I’m very confident,’ he adds.

Indeed, with the Playboy bunnies cheering him on this year, who knows, De Puniet may even score a podium or three in 2009. We wish him all the best. And, Playboy, welcome to MotoGP - the greatest, grandest sport on earth…

LCR Honda RC212V: Tech Specs

Engine: Four-stroke liquid-cooled pneumatic-valve DOHC 800cc V4
Chassis: Aluminium twin spar, fully adjustable geometry
Gearbox: Six-speed cassette-type
Power: >210bhp
Top Speed: >325km/h
Overall length: 2050-2070mm (depending on the circuit) Overall height: 1125mm
Overall width: 645mm
Weight: 148kg
Fuel capacity: 21 litres capacity ELF
Suspension: Fully-adjustable Öhlins TTX20 USD fork (front), fully-adjustable Öhlins TTX36 Pro-link monoshock (rear)
Wheels and Tyres: Marchesini, Bridgestone
Brakes: Brembo, twin 314mm carbon discs with four piston callipers (front), ventilated steel disc with twin piston callipers (rear)
Misc: Fully adjustable multi-plate slipper clutch, titanium exhaust
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