The Assomotor RedMoto Honda team are a relatively new team in the GP paddock as they entered the paddock in 2015. Since then they’ve focused on the MXGP World Championship and have worked worked with some good riders – Alessandro Lupino, Valentin Guillod, Petar Petrov and Arminas Jasikonis to name a few.
However, in 2019, the team will shift their focus to the MX2 World Championship. 2018 was a successful year for the team as they won the EMX250 Championship with Mayths Boisrame and they’ve now decided to fully focus on the 250cc.
Mayths Boisrame and Brent van Doninck will ride the MX2 World Championship with the team while Stephen Rubini and Pierre Goupillon will contest the EMX250 championship.
We decided to catch up with team manager, Alfredo Bevilacqua to get his thoughts on the year ahead.
Gatedrop: Alfredo, the team have decided to shift focus from MXGP to MX2 for 2019. What are the reasons for this change?
Alfredo Bevilacqua: The team is officially supported from Honda Motor Europe (HME) and this is the third year, for this reason we receive the proposals from them. The decision was taken in Japan between Honda and HME managers and this decision was accepted with enthusiasm by me. The project provides that HRC is officially engaged in the MXGP, while HME would have the “task” to find in European and MX2 championships new riders to follow and give them support to bring these riders at a high level.
Gatedrop: Since the team entered the paddock it’s always focused on the MXGP class. As a non-factory team just how hard is it to be competitive against the factory teams?
Alfredo Bevilacqua: Competing with an official team is very difficult but possible. This year we had the riders to do it but due to injuries we were not competitive and the results did not come. We started well with Arminas (Jasikonis) growing GP after GP but the crash in France stopped everything. The big limit for an unofficial team is the development of the bikes (suspension and engines), due to the high costs.
With Honda, you can do absolutely a season at high levels with a good set-up because it is a very competitive standard bike. This is very important for the team because it starts from a very good base. A big difficulty for my team is the budget, because it is much lower than a factory team, and this does not allow us to resolve every situation necessary to be in the top ten.
Gatedrop: Out of all the riders you’ve worked with the paddock so far, who did you enjoy working with the most and why?
Alfredo Bevilacqua: Working with Lupino and Boisramè was very constructive and important. With Alessandro because he’s a good rider with experience, he made us grow up. With Mathys instead it was a great experience because in two years of collaboration we grown together to win the European title and this was very important because thanks to his talent and his desire to win he has allowed us to get the first goal of HME and mine.
Gatedrop: It’s going to be Brent van Doninck’s last year in the MX2 World Championship, he’s got a lot of talent but what do you think he needs to do to become a consistent top five guy?
Alfredo Bevilacqua: In 2019 we will take part in the MX2 class and I’m sure that Brent and Mathys can have a good season. Brent has more experience than Mathys in the World Championship, but he must manage the season without mistakes.
Mathys showed during two races in the MX2 World Championship in 2018, to have a lot of talent but he must grow physically because in this championship there are more races than a European championship (20 rounds).
Gatedrop: In the EMX250 championship, the team will have Stephen Rubini and Pierre Goupillon. I guess you’ll want to win the title yet again after Boisrame’s success this season?
Alfredo Bevilacqua: With HME we have looked for riders who could potentially win the EMX250 title because this is the goal of Honda Motor Europe. For us it is very important come back to the races to consolidate the 2018 performance, to make it clear that it was not just a lucky season but a growing season and I am sure that the new 250cc will give even more satisfaction than the 250cc of 2018.
Gatedrop: I feel like Rubini and Goupillon could be competitive in MX2. Was there ever a temptation to run three MX2 World Championship riders? Also, will either of them do any races in MX2 that don’t collide with EMX250?
Alfredo Bevilacqua: Now the program of 2019 with Rubini and Goupillon is to participate in the European Championship. With Rubini we will do also 4 MX2 World Championship races. With Goupillon we will focus just on the European championship and if during the season, we need to do some MX2 races for testing, we will evaluate it.
Gatedrop: What’s the long-term target for the team, will it be to remain in MX2 or perhaps move into MXGP once again in the future?
Alfredo Bevilacqua: The long-term goal is to work with Honda because they follow us and give the team huge support, allowing us to be present at high levels in the motocross world championship – this is the first goal. As a manager, I don’t deny that one day I would like to go back to MXGP as a protagonist.
Gatedrop: What’s your thoughts on the MXGP calendar for 2019 and what’s your thoughts on the fly away GP’s?
Alfredo Bevilacqua: The 2019 calendar is very complicated. I don’t know how many teams will be able to take part in all the GP’s because there are too many overseas races and for small teams it’s not easy. I think that we need to take a step back organizing a championship with 15 races / year with just 2 extra European races, or receive from the promoter some contributions. I think also that the promoter should help the unofficial teams by money benefits to give the opportunity to ride all the races to 100%.
Gatedrop: Anyone you’d like to thank?
Alfredo Bevilacqua: I would like to thank Gatedrop for this interview, Honda, my sponsors and all the people around me that support us for 2019.
Interview: Andy McKinstry
Pics: Assomotor Honda