'The project has no future': Althea's parting shot in Honda team split

MIE Racing and Althea Racing part ways after the fourth round of the 2020 WorldSBK Championship due to the team's lack of competitiveness so far this year

Takumi Takahashi - Honda WorldSBK MIE Racing

Althea Racing and MIE Racing have announced they are to go their separate ways following a difficult start to the 2020 WorldSBK season as Honda’s satellite project.

MIE Racing - rebranded from Morikwaki - and 2011 WorldSBK Champions Althea Racing joined forces in 2019 to head up Honda’s effort in the international series, taking over from Ten Kate Racing, though results were modest with the ageing CBR1000RR.

With HRC coming in to establish Honda’s full factory line-up for 2020 with the new CBR1000RR-R Fireblade, MIE Racing is resorting to satellite support but despite scoring its first point of the season in Aragon, it has been largely rooted to the back of the grid.

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As such, Althea Racing has backed out immediately, going as far to say - according to Speedweek - that it is splitting because it feels the ‘project has no future’.

“Despite all the discrepancies, we were as committed as possible and took note of the technical and contractual inadequacies,” team manager Genesio Bevilacqua said. “Althea Racing can no longer ignore its quality standards, which enabled us to have a good image and sporting success, out of responsibility towards our partners, sponsors and employees. 

“We cannot go on under these conditions and we are ending this project that we believe has no future.”

MIE Racing were somewhat more polite in its confirmation of parting ways , though it does mean the outfit will be reduced to just a single entry going forward with Takumi Takahashi getting the nod over Lorenzo Gabellini.

"From 2019, we have undertaken a project in WorldSBK together. It was a challenging project for all of us, but I could make it happen because of Mr. Bevilacqua. Since we collaborated in the Moriwaki Italian Junior Cup back in 2008, we have always shared the same passion for motorsports. 

“This time we have chosen to go in different directions after many years of great motorsports friendship with Genesio Bevilacqua, but that friendship will never end, and I deeply appreciate all the support received from himself and Althea Racing.”