American Honda announced today that Erik Kehoe will return to the Honda family as Team Manager of Honda Racing’s Motocross program.

The legendary 125cc and 250cc motocrosser retired from competition in 1995 and became Honda Of Troy’s Motocross Team Manager. Kehoe guided theHonda-supported team to many successes in the following years. On the strength of Kehoe’s performance over the last six years, he was recruited to direct the efforts ofthe 2002 Honda Racing Motocross Team.

“American Honda has been working hard in the last eighteen months, defining and implementing our vision for the future of Team Honda motorsports,” said American Honda senior manager Gary Christopher. “Every successful team has to have the right mix of racing machinery, technology, and especially people. We’re dedicated to creating the kind of team environment that will inspire riders, technicians, and management staff to say, ‘That’s where I want to be’.”

“I am excited to be back working with Honda,” said Kehoe. “American Honda’s commitment to winning is unprecedented, and my focus is to help build a foundation that will support this commitment.”

Shortly after reading the above press release, we phoned Kehoe at his palatial Santa Clarita estate, where he said, “I’m really excited. It’s been in the works for a while now, but I had to keep it all quiet. It was really hard to do so, but now that the news is out my phone has been ringing non-stop.”

“Phil Alderton will take over my duties at Yamaha of Troy, and I have every confidence that he will do a great job.”

“The opportunity to work with Team Honda in this capacity is something that I could not pass up, and I am looking forward to many successful years with my new team.”

Kehoe is already quite familiar with most of his Team Honda crew – after all, they came from Yamaha of Troy as well! Team riders Nathan Ramsey and Ernesto Fonseca, as well as their respective mechanics Bundy Mitchell and Kenny Germain, have all worked with Kehoe throughout the 2001 season.

“I know what Ernie and Nate Dog are capable of because I have worked with them in the past,” added Kehoe. “And I’ve already seen Ricky Carmichael in action on his new CR250R, and I have to say that he is pretty amazing on a red bike. I think that 2002 will be a very good year for Team Honda.”