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Tamada to race for Konica Minolta Honda

Tamada to race for Konica Minolta Honda

Tamada to race for Konica Minolta Honda

A new deal was announced today which will see Makoto Tamada contest the 2005 MotoGP World Championship on a Honda RC211V with Michelin tyres and sponsorship from Konica Minolta Holdings, Inc.

Tamada will ride for a new team structure known as JiR (Japan Italy Racing), created by Tetsuo Iida, the former President of Honda Europe NV, and Luca Montiron, who was Team Manager for Tamada's side of the garage in the Camel Honda squad last season.

The "Konica Minolta Honda Team" began testing with Tamada at Jerez on Wednesday and the Japanese rider is already looking forward to the start of the new season at the Spanish circuit in just over four months' time.

"I cannot wait to begin this new challenge," said Tamada, who scored two victories and three pole positions using Bridgestone tyres on a Honda in 2004. "I feel very lucky to have this level of infrastructure exclusively dedicated to me.

"It will be a very demanding season for sure, but I have a great motivation and I'm sure we will be able to reach important results with the technical package we have at our disposal".

Konica Minolta Holdings, Inc. was established in August 2003 through integration of Konica Corporation and Minolta Co., Ltd. The Group is a global company with 37,000 employees, providing a variety of products ranging from digital cameras and films for consumers, copy machines, medical instruments and printing products for businesses, to devices including optical pickup lenses.

"I am proud of what we have achieved in such a short time, all this is thanks to the support of Konica Minolta and Honda Racing," said Montiron, who takes up the post of Managing Director for JiR.

"It is now the moment to do our best effort to create a good organisation and to produce the best results. I am sure that the direction taken are the right one and I strongly feel that Makoto has matured a lot in the past two seasons.

"He has to be considered now as ready to reach always the top positions. The technical direction of the team will be headed by the engineer Giulio Bernardelle. The team will consist of a mix of Japanese and Italian technicians".

Tetsuo Iida, JiR President added: "The announcement is very important for me, because it means the realisation of the challenging spirit I have learnt in Honda for a long time.

"I appreciate very much the support of the two important global companies Konica Minolta and Honda. I hope we will realise every time an excitement race for all the people loves motorcycle racing.

"Our objective in the creation of JiR is surly an important one and it will require a particular full dedication. The title of World Champion is our sincere goal."

MotoGP, 2004, Makoto Tamada

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