HRC Appoints Ken Kawauchi as New Technical Manager

HRC Appoints Ken Kawauchi as New Technical Manager

Former Suzuki Ecstar boss Ken Kawauchi will start working at HRC as technical manager. His arrival to the Honda MotoGP project was confirmed on Friday by Repsol Honda team principal Alberto Puig.

“It’s true, HRC has signed Ken Kawauchi as technical manager. We thus benefit from the withdrawal of Suzuki as a manufacturer from the MotoGP world championship.” Puig said.

“Ken will replace Takeo Yokoyama, who in turn will be responsible for training the young engineers we have in Japan so that they are ready for Europe in due course, both technically and humanly.

“Takeo is a vital part of HRC, and his new position will be decisive for the company’s Future in racing. Kokubu will remain technical director in the meantime.” Puig added.

Kawauchi was a key figure and technical manager involved with the Suzuki MotoGP project in recent years. He’s been making the rounds a lot lately.

Suzuki’s decision to withdraw from the MotoGP world championship influenced Kawauchi’s decision to sign with Honda.

According to reports, Kawauchi has a passion for racing. If Suzuki had kept racing, he probably wouldn’t have switched.

Having played a vital role in Suzuki’s successes, including the 2020 MotoGP world title with Joan Mir and a total of seven wins over the past few years, HRC’s hopes are pinned on Kawauchi’s experience and knowledge.

He may be the man who can turn the tide and help them to a first world title in the premier class since 2019

A Japanese technician changing brands is, as already mentioned, not an everyday occurrence in the MotoGP paddock.

The last major change came in 2004, when Ichiro Yoda, former Yamaha technical director, switched to Kawasaki. But Puig believes Suzuki’s shock departure played a big part in Kawauchi’s decision.

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