LCR discards KTM and will continue with Honda in 2024

LCR and Honda have been working together since 2006, the year in which Lucio Cecchinello’s team appeared in the premier class with the Japanese brand. Since then, several important names have passed through this structure, such as Casey Stoner, chosen for the debut in the first season, Carlos Checa, Stefan Bradl, Toni Elías or Johann Zarco. A lasting relationship and with some good results that this season is going through difficulties.

Not only Honda’s poor performance during 2023 is one of the reasons for discontent. In recent seasons, the satellite bikes are very similar to the official ones, as can be seen in the performance of the Ducati or the KTM. However, Honda’s work with LCR does not seem to be on the same level as that of other brands. Álex Rins himself has complained publicly. “After testing Marc’s chassis, which is different from the one Joan had been using, I asked them if they would let me test Mir’s as well. I thought it was time. And they told me no, despite having spare units”, the Catalan complained after the Argentine GP. In addition, he added that he “had tried to talk to them, but they are very rigid”, referring to the possible solutions in the configuration of the bike.

LCR renewed its contract with Honda in 2019 and the agreement ends in 2024. It is no secret that KTM intends to increase its number of seats in MotoGP, as you have recognized Lucio Cecchinello in statements to GPOne. “About ten days ago I received a phone call from Francesco Guidotti (KTM manager) in which he told me that, from Silverstone, they would like to start to understand how to move forward. He asked me what my situation was for 2024″.

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But Cecchinello has been blunt about LCR’s position for next season. “I have a contract with Honda for 2024 and it is not my intention to break it. I have been in MotoGP with them for 18 years, next year will be the 19th. There are very solid human and professional relationships. It is clear that it would be difficult for me to leave them. I feel like a Honda man,” he says.

Rins’ future seems out of LCR

The future of Álex Rins seems to be outside of LCR. The Spanish pilot, who has an agreement with the brand until 2024, is negotiating his future outside of it. The contract allows him to leave the team in case an official motorcycle appears. “Álex signed a contract that provided for two seasons, 2023 and 2024, but with an option to leave if he received an offer from an official team. Last year there were negotiations between Rins and Yamaha, which did not bear fruit as Morbidelli continued, but which motivated the manager to include that clause”, says Lucio.

Negotiations with Yamaha are a reality, although it is not ruled out that the Catalan could continue at Honda. “He has received an offer and his manager has started talks with them and with Honda. He is taking his time to reflect, ”she confirms. Although the director of LCR is clear that he should seek continuity: “Continuing in this project would make sense, he has already won a race and the bike will grow faster than expected.” But he also understands a departure from the Spanish: “Yamaha offers a position in a factory team, so conditions are probably different”.

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