Honda’s MotoGP programme just got a significant boost as they announced the signing of Alex Baumgartel, co-founder of Kalex, to bolster the development of their MotoGP chassis.
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This move marks a notable shift in Honda’s approach, showcasing a newfound willingness to embrace external expertise.
Baumgartel’s expertise comes from his co-founding role at Kalex, a renowned German engineering company deeply entrenched in Moto2. Kalex’s chassis are widely adopted across the Moto2 grid, indicating a pedigree that Honda is eager to tap into for their MotoGP endeavours.
Honda’s collaboration with Kalex isn’t entirely new. In the previous season, Honda enlisted Kalex to supply a chassis for the RC213V, the bike campaigned by stars like Marc Marquez and Joan Mir. While the riders didn’t entirely embrace the new chassis, it provided valuable insights for Honda’s development team.
The hiring of Baumgartel signifies Honda’s commitment to continuing the momentum gained from recent advancements. Following the 2023 season, a new version of the RC213V was tested, featuring significant weight reduction and other enhancements.
The unveiling of the 2024 spec bike, tested after the San Marino Grand Prix, showcased a remarkable eight-kilogram weight loss compared to its predecessor. This improvement underscores Honda’s dedication to pushing the boundaries of performance in MotoGP.
At the onset of the first official pre-season test of the year, Baumgartel was already seen donning HRC gear, indicating his seamless integration into the Honda team. His role as a Technical Advisor, contracted directly by HRC, signifies the importance Honda places on his expertise.
This strategic move by Honda mirrors a broader trend within the MotoGP paddock. Yamaha, another Japanese powerhouse, recently appointed Massimo from Ducati as its new technical director, demonstrating a similar openness to external talent.
Baumgartel’s appointment aligns with Honda’s objective of accelerating chassis production and reducing lead times between production and testing. His continued involvement with Kalex in other projects underscores his deep-rooted connection to the world of motorcycle racing engineering.
In essence, Honda’s decision to enlist Baumgartel represents a pivotal moment in their MotoGP journey. By embracing external expertise and adopting a more collaborative approach, Honda is positioning itself for continued success on the track. With Baumgartel on board, the future looks promising for Honda in MotoGP.