Feb 24, 2005
Konica Minolta Sponsors the World's Most Prominent Motorcycle
Road Racing, "MotoGP Class," as "Konica Minolta Honda Team"
Tokyo (February 24, 2005) – Konica Minolta Holdings, Inc. is pleased to announce that it will sponsor a new racing team "JiR" (Japan Italy Racing) participating in the world's most prominent motorcycle road racing, the World Championship "MotoGP Class" this year. The new team will be named "Konica Minolta Honda team," and the Japanese rider, Makoto Tamada, will race with this team. Tamada is successful in taking two wins at the World Championship "MotoGP class" last year, and there is an expectation that the team is challenging to win the annual championship in 2005. Through this sponsorship, Konica Minolta aims to widely show its active corporate image worldwide.
With this sponsorship Konica Minolta expects to increase its brand recognition and brand image worldwide. The MotoGP is one of the top three sporting events in Europe together with F1, and succor. In Japan, its popularity and image is emerging with the winning of Japanese GP by Tamada last September. The internationally recognized MotoGP has the top class exposure in terms of broadcasting, audience, and visitors (approximately 1.6 million). Backed by such popularity, and constantly winning Honda machines, Konica Minolta assumes to increase its global brand value and attention.
< About MotoGP >
MotoGP, promoted by FIM (Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme), is the world's most prominent series of annual motorcycle road racing event held in five continents. Its official name is "FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix," and the Konica Minolta Honda team will participate in the highest "MotoGP Class". This year, the racing events will take place in "Twin Ring Motegi" in Japan, and such circuits as Sachsenring (Germany), Jerez (Spain), and Assen (Holland) in Europe. The race will also be held for the first time in Shanghai (China), and for the first time in eleven years in Laguna Seca (USA). We are expecting further increase in its popularity in Asia and the USA as well as in Europe.
MotoGP is the world's premium motorsports for its "Speed," "High Technology," and "Internationality." In terms of "Speed," the machines compete in maximum speed of more than 300km per hour, which is the same level as F1. In terms of "High Technology," it is a fusion of top-notch engine and machine technologies, and also the combination of human wisdom and technology. In terms of "Internationality," starting with European countries, it is widely broadcasted in about 200 countries and viewed by 5.2 billion enthusiastic racing fans.
< About Konica Minolta Honda Team >
|Title sponsor||Konica Minolta|
|Team Management||JiR (Japan Italy Racing)|
< Profile of Rider, Makoto Tamada>
Makoto Tamada began riding a pocket bike at the age of nine, qualified as an international A class rank in 1994, and since 1995, started his career in All Japan Championship and constantly ranked in high positions. From 2003, he moved to the world stage to join the most prominent motorcycle road racing "MotoGP Class" and ranked 11th with powerful racing from the debut year. In 2004, he took two wins – the first in the Brazil GP, and the second in Japan GP. He is one of the most promising riders to mark high ranking this year as well.
|Date of birth||November 4, 1976 (age: 28)|
|Place of birth||Ehime Prefecture, Japan|
|MotoGP ranking||In 2003, he made a debut in the World Championship "MotoGP Class", ranking in 11th. In 2004, he was ranked 6th in the World Championship "MotoGP Class" (won twice, placed second once, won prizes several times)|
< About JiR >
|Official name||Japan Italy Racing|
|Location||Place des Moulins-Le Continental– B 98000- Principaute 'de Monaco|
|General Manager||Gianluca Montiron|
JiR will participate in MotoGP 2005 with one machine, Honda RC211V with Michelin tires.
< MotoGP Calendar 2005 >
|May 15||France||Le Mans|
|July 10||USA||Laguna Seca|
|July 24||Britain||Donington Park|
|August 28||Czech Rep.||Brno|
|September 18||Japan||Twin Ring Motegi|
|October 16||Australia||Phillip Island|
< WEB site >
We will timely introduce such contents as racing scenes, results and photo gallery within our WEB site (//www.konicaminolta.com/motogp/).
Meeting the needs of speedily evolving digitization and networking environment, Konica Minolta Group aims to become an innovative global corporation that continues to create inspiring products and services in the field of imaging and that leads the market by advanced technologies and reliability.