By Lerpong Amsa-ngiam
Suchart Arunseangroj, director of AP Honda, more commonly known as Honda Motorcycle Thailand, said the company had long been supporting local racers in their efforts to take part in major competitions, including the World Grand Prix series.
This year, he said, that mission would continue and its focus would be on improving the Race to the Dream project to prepare Thai riders for bigger challenges around the world.
“Since its establishment in 2017, the project has welcomed many Thai talents, improved their driving skills and physical fitness so that they could represent the country in the future,” Suchart said yesterday.
“Based on the Race to the Dream plan, we will this year focus on improving all the steps to meet the standards of the Honda Racing Corporation (HRC).”
According to Suchart, the development plan consists of five main areas:
1. The introduction of two new “Racing Machines”, the NSF1000 and NSF250;
2. A rider exchange project with Mobilityland, which manages the Suzuki circuit in Japan;
3. A new physical development program;
4. The development of a specialist technical team;
5. A search for new racers by Honda ambassador Ratthapark Wilairot, the first Thai to feature in Moto2.
Suchart added: “The main goal of AP Honda in implementing the Race to the Dream project is to make the sport more popular among Thais of all ages and genders. We want to make Thais happy by giving them a chance to support their representatives in world competitions.”
Apart from a specific goal of helping to produce a Thai capable of competing in MotoGP by the year 2025, Honda will support Somkiat “Kong” Chandra in his bid to compete in the Moto2 World Championships with the Idemitsu Honda Team Asia.
The 20-year-old won the Asia Talent Cup 2016 and finished 9th in the PTT Thailand Grand Prix at the Chang International Circuit in Buriram, the 15th leg of the Moto3 World Championship 2018.
“I have always believed in his potential. He is going to have a big surprise for the Thai fans by earning them points in our home race,” Suchart said.