The Honda Pons team has announced today that it will not compete in the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix (MotoGP) 2006 season due to financial problems after the squad lost Camel support, it's main sponsor of the last three years.
This situation has left Carlos Checa without a ride in the Continental Circus for next season, he was the only rider confirmed for the team this year.
"Due to diverse circumstances at the end of the 2005 season, and after a successful partnership of three years, the team failed to renew its agreement with title partner Camel, and subsequent difficulties in securing sufficient financial support for its 2006 project have prompted the team to take the decision to pull out of competition this year", expressed the team in a press release delivered today.
Sito Pons, owner of the team, also commented about the situation that made him retire his bikes from the MotoGP grid: "In spite of determined efforts to maintain our team's 2006 MotoGP project in which we have gratefully counted on the support of HRC and Honda Spain, and having taken part in recent preseason tests at Valencia and Malaysia in preparation for the season ahead, the option to continue did not in the end materialise".
Pons, a former 250cc World Champion added: "We would like to express our sincerest gratitude to both HRC and Honda Spain for their patience and assistance, and to Carlos Checa and Casey Stoner for the trust placed in our team".
Australian rider Stoner tested for Honda Pons in Valencia and Sepang and was supposed to race for the team next season, but recently announced his pass to the team of Lucio Cecchinello, taking with him the factory support of Honda which complicated the future of Pons in the Continental Circus.
The beginning of the end for Honda Pons was when Camel announced that they will no longer continue their support of the team in 2006, which left Pons without it's main sponsor of the last seasons.
Despite the difficult moment that made Pons the team quit racing in MotoGP this season, he has remarked the intention of return to the category in 2007 with a new project that allow him to fight for the championship.
"The decision to withdraw from this year's championship has been a very difficult one to take, but our determination and competitive spirit remain unchanged and twenty-five years of success at the top level serve as a motivation to continue. Our firm intention is to return in 2007 and work is already underway on the new project", affirmed Pons.