January 17, 2006
Konica Minolta Sponsors the World's Most Prominent
Motorcycle Road Racing, "MotoGP Class," as
"Konica Minolta Honda Team" again in 2006
Konica Minolta Holdings, Inc., which participated in the World Championship "MotoGP Class"--the most prestigious motorcycle race in the world -- in 2005, has decided to participate again in this event this year. As in 2005, it will sponsor a racing team "JiR" (Japan Italy Racing) under the same team name -- "Konica Minolta Honda team," and the Japanese rider, Makoto Tamada, will race with this team. Makoto Tamada, who won the Japan Grand Prix in 2004 and was placed third in the same Grand Prix last year, will continue to challenge annual championship in 2006.
The MotoGP is one of the three most popular sporting events in Europe, along with the F1 and soccer, and thanks to Makoto Tamada, it is becoming more well-known, and clearly gaining a familiar image, in Japan as well. The event enjoys top exposure levels in countries around the world in terms of broadcasting frequency, audience, and ticket sales (approximately 1.6 million). The image of the MotoGP race, which is aggressive and also conveys the spirit of taking up the challenge, suits the innovative, youthful brand image for which Konica Minolta aims for. The company also has confidence in that a tie-up with Honda Machine will serve to further bolster its brand.
About Konica Minolta Honda Team
Title sponsor: Konica Minolta
Machine: Honda RC211V
Rider: Makoto Tamada
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. Last year, he was placed third in Japan GP and demonstrated presence as a Japanese rider. He is one of the most promising riders to mark high ranking this year as well.
|Date of birth||November 4, 1976 (age: 29)|
|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, and won prizes several times). In 2005, he was ranked 11th in the World Championship "MotoGP Class" (placed third once, and won prizes several times).|
|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 2006 with Honda RC211V with Michelin tires.
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 again in Shanghai (China), and continue to be held in Laguna Seca (U.S.A.), where the race was held for the first time in eleven years last year. We are expecting further increase in its popularity in Asia and the U.S.A. as well as in Europe.
MotoGP is the world's premium motorcycling events 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.
MotoGP Schedule for 2006 (Finals)
Racing Calendar 2006
|Sunday, March 26th||Spain(Jerez)|
|Saturday, April 8th||Qatar(Losail)|
|Sunday, April 30th||Turkey(Istanbul)|
|Sunday, May 14th||China(Shanghai)|
|Sunday, May 21st||France(Le Mans)|
|Sunday, June 4th||Italy(Mugello)|
|Sunday, June 18th||Catalunya (Catalunya/Spain)|
|Saturday, June 24th||Netherlands(Assen)|
|Sunday, July 2nd||United Kingdom(Donington Park)|
|Sunday, July 16th||Germany (Sachsenring)|
|Sunday, July 23rd||U.S.A.(Laguna Seca)|
|Sunday, August 20th||Czech Rep.(Brno)|
|Sunday, September 10th||Malaysia(Sepang)|
|Sunday, September 17th||Australia(Phillip Island)|
|Sunday, September 24th||Japan(Twin Ring Motegi)|
|Sunday, October 29th||Valencia(Valencia/Spain)|
Comment from Makoto Tamada
"After all the race was over last season, I started training in Kumamoto and Okinawa with a new training menu for this season. So far, training is going on well and I'm fully-prepared both physically and mentally, so that I feel like riding immediately. Since the last season ended up with unsatisfying results, my enthusiasm for this season is the strongest in my rider life. I'm really grateful to Konica Minolta and Honda for supporting us and for able to continue to participate under Konica Minolta Honda Team this season. I will do my best to mark good results at the end of this season to respond to expectations of all the supporters."
We will timely introduce Makoto Tamada's talk about the Grand Prix events, photo gallery, wallpaper for downloading and so forth 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 crate inspiring products and services in the field of imaging and that leads the market by advanced technologies and reliability.