Perhaps even more shocking than the unsuccessful Kawasaki quitting MotoGP is Honda -- which has won 11 out of the last 12 and 21 out of 31 total races -- giving up on the Suzuki 8 Hours. Honda has also recently withdrawn from both AMA Superbike racing and Formula One all in an effort to save money as the market for cars and motorcycles collapses.
The Suzuka 8 Hours is a championship race in the otherwise fairly
unglamorous World Endurance Championship. It enjoys an extremely high
profile due to the big budget factory teams the Japanese manufacturers
roll out each year, they see the race as something of a pissing
contest, spending inordinate amounts of money to beat domestic rivals.
Last year, Carlos Checa and Ryuichi Kiyonari won aboard a faulty HRC CBR1000RR; previous winners have included Valentino Rossi, Colin
Edwards, Wayne Gardner, Mick Doohan, Eddie Lawson, Wayne Rainey and Wes
Honda will continue its support of non-factory teams participating in
the race and has reconfirmed its commitment to MotoGP, saying, "Honda
won't quit MotoGP."