Motorcycling - Production Honda makes test debut

Honda has completed the first test of its new MotoGP production racer, which it hopes to make available to teams before the end of 2013.

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The machine will be offered to privateers as an alternative to CRT equipment from next year onwards.

Honda has not yet revealed any technical specifications, but it is understood the production racer will not incorporate Honda's seamless gearbox technology.

Honda admitted its new machine has been running slightly behind schedule, but said it had outperformed expectations during a two-day private shakedown at Motegi.

"Development of the model is currently a little behind schedule but the test results showed more than what we had expected, in particular, with its running performance," HRC vice president Shuhei Nakamoto said.

"We can't announce its name or the specification at this stage but we will have an opportunity of announcing the details in the not too distant future.

"We will keep on developing the machine to meet the 2014 MotoGP technical and sporting regulations, and will introduce the model by the end of this year."

Yamaha confirmed on the eve of this year's Qatar opener that it would lease engines to customer teams from 2014.

The moves by Honda and Yamaha ensure both will be able to use their own software within the control ECU that will come into play in top-level grand prix racing in 2014.

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