Torrance, CA (9/11/2009) - Several Honda backed ATV racers, including Joe Byrd, Harold Goodman, Josh Upperman and Wayne Matlock, got the call today that they would need to be looking elsewhere for support for the 2010 race season.
“Last year they cancelled their road racing program and now this year it was the quads,” stated a very disappointed Joe Byrd. “I’ve got a very busy schedule for the off season and now I’ll have to make time to look for support for next year. I’ve been on a Honda for 23 years, so it’s going to be kind of weird being on something other than red.”
“I never saw it coming so I really don’t know what I’m going to do for next season now. I guess I’ll have to start looking for a new deal,” said Harold Goodman, who was on his way to Unadilla to race his first GNCC in five years when he got the news.
In the last year, Honda has undergone major restructuring, and with the passing of Bruce Ogilvie, who was the life blood of Honda’s ATV racing program, some were less surprised than others when they heard the news. However, all involved agree that it will be tough to find support with other manufacturers tightening their race budgets as well.
Budget issues have plagued the ATV industry since the nations economy began to go downhill, and it appears that is will also affect the dirt bike side as cutbacks in that program are imminent as well.
Even though times could be tough for next season, Joe Byrd remains optimistic and is still thankful for the support Honda has given him over the years. “I really do have to thank Honda for everything they have done for me in the past. They were good to ride for and I am disappointed I won’t be with them next season,” Byrd stated.
Honda has yet to release any details on their decision to cut their ATV racing efforts, but more information will be provided as it comes available.