With the closing of the 2020 season, the Honda Racing Assomotor Team are working to better prepare for the 2021 adventure.
The line-up that will take part in the FIM Motocross World Championship will be composed of the reconfirmed Stephen Rubini who conquered the top ten last season. Alongside the strong French rider, Alfredo Bevilacqua has confirmed Italian Gianluca Facchetti. Facchetti will get on the CRF 250R in order to be competitive and a protagonist of the 2021 season in the MX2 World Championship.
In the European 250 championship the team has decided to confirm Emil Weckman, the Finn who has already raced the last races of the season with the team, showing excellent speed skills and is ready for the championship as one of the main rivals.
Alfredo Bevilacqua Team Manager: “I am proud to represent Honda Motor Co., Ltd in the person of Gordon Crockard in the motocross world for the fifth year, because Honda is the leader in the motorcycle sector and having them as a partner is truly very rewarding. The season that has just ended has not been easy, but planning the 2021 season is, to this day, even more difficult, but after several meetings and negotiations we were able to reconfirm Stephen Rubini in MX2. I have always believed in his very high potential, in fact from mid-season onwards he showed it by growing race after race, unfortunately he was penalized by the lockdown so he was not at 100% in the first races, but I think he did a good job with Demaria and he obtained a great tenth place in the final championship standings and next year he will be able to do even more. Gianluca Facchetti is a very talented rider with great potential because he starts very well in the race, he’s fast and he’s young. We must work together to get to know each other and to develop common strategies for the maximum competitive result, to make a good winter training that allows him to manage the competitive performance in the race, so I am very satisfied to have signed the agreement with Alberto Martinelli (his manager) for Gianluca’s 2021 season and I am also proud that their choice fell on my team because obviously they appreciated the work done, the seriousness and our potential, considering that they come from very important and well organized teams. For the European Championship as soon as I touched the great potential of Emil Weckman, I tried to confirm it immediately for the whole 2021 season as this year he came to us to replace our injured driver. Emil is a very fast rider, he was already training on Honda so he knows the bikes he uses in the race well and this has helped us, he is a rider who always listens to the advice that the team suggests and has a great desire to work hard to obtain results. For the moment he is training in Finland followed by his trainer, but he will soon come to us to start winter training with Yves Demaria. I am sure that the 2021 season will give us great satisfaction”.
Gordon Crockard: “For the 2021 season ahead, Honda have confidence in the Assomotor Team that we will see a strong performance from the CRF250R team race bikes in both the EMX250 and MX2 championships. It is testament to the team that the partnership with our French talent Stephen Rubini is continuing into the 3rd consecutive year of working together. I like that Stephen and the team have vast experience collected and from the positively increasing level of good form shown already in 2020, we can see the direction is an upward progression that is gathering momentum. From mid-season Stephen started posting regular 5th, 6th, 7th place race finishes, finding himself more comfortable in this area of results is a great boost to his confidence and self-belief needed to inspire to push for more. 2 new fresh-faced members will join the team and bring new energy and enthusiasm under the team tent. I am very familiar with the young Finn Emil Weckman, from when he previously won 2 back-to-back EMX150 championships aboard the CRF150R. I do believe he has now arrived to an opportune moment in his life that he is ready to maximize. Gianluca Facchetti steps up to MX2, I think he will feel right at home immediately on our red bike, especially amongst his fellow Italian countrymen of the team staff. I think the team will accelerate his promising potential. I very much look forward to seeing Gianluca perform to his best on the CRF250R when the racing gets going in a few months’ time”.
Gianluca Facchetti: “I am happy to announce that in 2021 I will be part of the Honda family with Team Assomotor, I want to thank Alfredo Bevilacqua who believes in me and foresees a great season. For me 2021 will be my debut in the MX2 World Championship and for me it is a great satisfaction and soon we will start the winter preparation, I am spring loaded and I can’t wait to start working with my new team. I want to thank everyone for their trust”.
Stephen Rubini: “It’s been a long and tough season for sure with this pandemic virus. I had some ups and downs throughout this season, but we managed to get 10th in the championship standing. We did some very good races with some top 5 and many overall top 10s. The beginning of the season was not good with some injuries from the winter, but the rest of the season was good with a lot of improvement. I’m really happy to have started working with Yves, unfortunately we started in the middle of the season, so we couldn’t change a lot of things, so we did our maximum to get the best result out of it, I thank you, all the team for all the efforts and hard work they made all year long, I thank all the sponsors from the team and my personal sponsors, I thank my trainer Yves Demaria and Love my Training for believing in me”.
Emil Weckman: “I really enjoyed working with the Honda Racing Assomotor Team for the later part of this season and I’m really grateful to them and Honda Motor Co., Ltd to have the opportunity to do it again next year. The Honda CRF250R suits me really well and I felt right home on the race bike and I also feel that it is the bike I can win on. Both Patrick Manner from Honda Finland and Kusti from Manninen Bros will be in my corner also in 2021 and having familiar faces around sure helps with confidence and everything. I don’t think I could show my full potential this season because I hadn’t raced since 2019 Russian MXGP due to injuries and only started riding in late July 2020. Now it’s important to get enough riding under my belt and stay injury free to be able to come back to the top. Many of my former rivals from Honda EMX150 European Championship rivals were battling upfront in EMX250 class this season, so I firmly believe that is where I should be next season. I have already ridden over 30 hours on Honda CRF450R since the last EMX250 race to build some strength and smoothen out my riding. However, the first EMX250 race is still almost 6 months away, so it is important to still try to keep it fun to avoid burning out”.
Photo Credit – Honda Racing Assomotor Team