End of an era for Honda's factory-supported 250 class operation.
The exit of title sponsor Geico following this weekend’s final round of Lucas Oil Pro Motocross has been officially confirmed by the Factory Connection-operated Honda team.
First reported by PulpMX at the end of August, it’s been widespread knowledge that the insurance company would be leaving the factory-backed 250 team prior to 2021.
However, in the lead-up to tomorrow’s final round of Lucas Oil Pro Motocross at Fox Raceway, Geico’s departure has been publicly recognized in an emotive update on the team’s social media accounts. It’s understood it was only notified of the loss at late notice.
“Bittersweet pulling our rig out one last time as Geico Honda,” a post of the team transporter about to travel to Pala confirmed. “We have partnered with Geico for the last 13 years and, together, we have built a powerhouse team that will forever live on.”
The team has stated that the organization is working hard to secure a replacement in a bid to continue next season: “We are working hard to fill our title sponsor spot so we can continue making memories for years to come. For now, let’s do this boys! One more round!”
It’s an uncertain period for the high-profile team that has been a fixture in the sport for over two decades, including 13 years with the lucrative support of Geico while operating Honda’s factory 250 class program with significant success together.
Two-time 250MX champion Jeremy Martin is still in contention for the 250MX title entering the finale on Saturday, currently contracted to remain with the Honda effort through 2021, but potentially being forced to search elsewhere should the team downscale or close altogether.
In addition to Martin, Jett and Hunter Lawrence are amid long-term agreements and are being tipped to remain in red – at Factory Connection or otherwise – while the futures of Jo Shimoda and Carson Mumford appear to also be up in the air. Christian Craig has already revealed his departure, linked to Star Racing Yamaha for next year.
Geico leaving is said to be part of a wider departure from motorsport team sponsorships, also recently being confirmed to be ending its longterm partnership with the Germain Racing NASCAR team at the conclusion of this season.