Cardio AB’s Karel Abraham will next season be the second rider aboard Honda’s new production racer, after the team decided to end their partnership with Aprilia after just one season.
Abraham will join Fasto Gresini in using the new Honda bike, it was revealed by Abraham Sr. in Laguna Seca.
Back in June, Abraham senior suggested he, and his team were not interested in switching from their ART machines for the Honda or any other bike. However, in Laguna Seca, Abraham Sr. revealed that he had struck a deal with HRC over the purschasing of one of the new four production bikes.
“For us it wasn’t easy to make this decision,” Abraham Sr. told German media.
“Last year the co-operation with Ducati didn’t work, but with ART we have a very correct relationship. Aprilia wanted to continue, but we want a competitive bike and we had four options: stay with Aprilia, the M1 engines from Yamaha, a complete Honda production racer, or a Ducati, but we wanted a guarantee that there would be continued development by the Italian manufacturer.”
Abraham Jr. hopes the move will work out, as he is is about to get his third different bike in as many years. “For me and for our team it will be a big change, but I hope that it gets better,” said Abraham Jr.
“For almost my whole career I’ve rode Italian marques. Hopefully this time we have made the right move.
“Leaving Aprilia isn’t easy, because it is a very good bike and I’ve had a better feeling with it than with the Ducati. Unfortunately, this machine can only be moderately competitive with the prototypes, although the Aprilia as a CRT machine is by far the best bike.”
Crew chief Marco Grana is excited about what lies ahead. “The Honda offer is very promising for us and we have already signed a preliminary contract,” he said, “but we would like to stick with our own suppliers.”
This here-in could lie a problem as Honda provide their bikes with Showa suspension and Nissin brakes, where Cardion will want to continue with Öhlins and Brembo.