LCR Team: from 1996 to this day
Starting a new adventure
Stefan Bradl on RC213V
17 years of competitions, 274 races held in three different categories, 72 podiums, 21 victories and a runner-up World Champion title in the 250cc class: this is LCR, established in 1996 when Lucio Cecchinello decided to start a new adventure setting up his own organisation and so playing the roles of both rider/manager with the precise intent of building a future for himself in the industry. After a 2-year apprenticeship (‘96 and ‘97) Lucio attained his first successes joined by his “Japanese brother” Noboru Ueda. The collaboration between the two continued for a good three years and in 2001 Lucio finishes the Championship in the 4th placement riding the Aprilia 125cc. In 2002 the LCR Team redoubles and lines up 4 riders in two different categories: in the 125cc class it’s Lucio (who scored 3 victories and 2 second placements and finished with a 4th placement in the final standings of the world championship) and the rider from San Marino Alex De Angelis (who earns his first world championship podium) the ones wearing the Team’s colours, while in the 250cc class “someone” named Casey Stoner makes his debut joined by the Spaniard David Checa. In 2003, the last year in the race competitions for Lucio, The LCR team, reinforced thanks to the newly signed Randy De Puniet, scored 9 podiums, 3 victories and several pole positions in the 250cc class riding the Aprilia, finishing in the 4th placement in the final standings while the Australian Stoner finished 9th in his first year in the 125cc class. At the end of 2003 the 3 LCR riders had surprisingly looted: 16 podiums, 6 victories and 6 pole positions.
The following years
Randy De Puniet at Loasil (Qatar)
The following year the Frenchman De Puniet continued to ascend the standings in the 250cc class earning the bronze medal behind Porto and Pedrosa and, in the 125cc, Roberto Locatelli (already world champion in the cadet category) achieved the same results finishing behind Barbera and Dovizioso. 2004 was the year of the world championship debut of another talented rider “made in Romagna”, Mattia Pasini, who earned the Rookie of the Year Award in his category. In 2005 the LCR team earned the Runner-Up World Championship award in the 250cc class (best result so far achieved) riding the Aprilia thanks to the Australian phenomenon Casey Stoner (together with Locatelli), taken under Lucio’s wing for several seasons and who, in 2006, made his debut in the MotoGP with the LCR Team. A very single-minded Stoner, riding the Honda RC2111V gives the first pole position and the first podium in the queen category to the team of Luigi Cecchinello, but the following year the Australian is replaced by a more mature rider able to make the most of the full potential of the new RC212V: Carlos Checa. The Catalan scored the 14th placement in the final standings and, in the same year, the LCR Team lines up also Eugene Laverty in the 250cc class, hence supporting the Rookie project of Honda UK. In 2008 the LCR Team kicks off with its third season in the MotoGP and leaves its RC212V in the hands of De Puniet, who ends the season scoring a 15th placing. The collaboration between LCR and de Puniet continues for two more years (2009 and 2010), always with the support of Honda, and the man from Marseilles finishes respectively with the 11th and the 9th placement. In 2011 the LCR Team changes “nationality” giving its RC212V to the Spanish rider Toni Elias fresh from earning the World Championship title of Moto2 (15th overall at the end of the season). Another Moto2 World Champion in the 2012 season but this year the racer comes from Germany and his name is Stefan Bradl who makes his debut in the premier class riding the Honda RC213V.
Since 1996, the LCR Team and its riders (counting 256 races) have rewarded their fans with 72 podiums, among which 21 victories and a World Championship Runner-Up Award in the 250cc class.
Riders…what strange people!!!
Stefan Bradl in action
Enzo Ferrari was right when he used to say: Riders…what strange people!!!
Nobby Ueda: “Crucial. He taught me a lot and he has been an excellent teammate. There was and still is an excellent teamwork: he’s my Japanese brother! A very fast rider and extremely stubborn. When he ran off track in Misano, after 200 metres of tumbling, he head-butted the retaining wall and you can still see the crack in it!”
Alex De Angelis: “When I met him he was still riding in the European championship and I was thrilled by his energy and his commitment despite his very young age. It was a pleasure working with him and having the chance to celebrate together his first world podium. He tied a big flag of San Marino around his neck and, on the podium, with this flag fluttering in the wind like a cloak, he looked like Superman!”
Casey Stoner: “It was impressive the confidence he showed off as a 15-year old boy, when I first met him. Impressive the time of 1’45.8 clocked on 23 January 2002 in Jerez when he was only 16 and debuting with our Aprilia Kit 250cc, within an ace of the official riders. I’d like to unveil a secret: he helped me to take the decision to end my sports career when, in 2003 at half season, he started to be ahead of me. At that very moment I understood the time had come to make way for the young talents, all the more one like this! The most special memory I keep of him is the misadventure occurred in 2006 when he missed his flight in Vienna, then the connecting flight in Dubai and, to prevent the chance of missing a further connection he slept on the floor in the airport next to the check-in desk. Once he got to Doha I went to pick him up from the airport and there was less than half an hour left before the Friday first test session. He put on the race suit, drank an espresso, got on track and clocked the best time”.
Roberto Locatelli: “Winning rider, great professional, excellent test rider, nice and witty as well as a great stand-up comedian during the team dinners. I’m still watching over and over the 2004 backstage DVD with his impersonations that make me die with laughter”.
Mattia Pasini: “This is really a great character! It was a pleasure to lead him into the World Championship and I would have liked to work with him for longer but the Team sponsors preferred to invest their resources in the 250cc project with Loca and Casey. When he scored his first pole at Mugello in 2004 he was so thrilled he looked like he had won the world championship title: unforgettable! I remember him when he was a little boy (about 5 years old) and was knee sliding on the asphalt riding his tiny bicycle…”
Carlos Checa: “His symbol is the Bull and this not a case! He’s a real unflagging “racing animal”. When he’s on the ball he can resist and fight the best riders in the world. Very sensitive on track (excellent test rider) as well as in human relationships. I would have liked to achieve more together with him but it’s not a secret that in 2007 the Team has suffered from a serious technical gap compared to the official ones. If I think that we started our sports career together in the same period (end of 80s beginning of 90s) and now he’s still riding and battling against the top riders of SBK, I cannot help feeling deep admiration for his firm determination”.
Eugene Laverty: “Eugene took part to a Rookie project endorsed by Honda UK and it has been a pleasure to give our support. On his debut in the World Championship, considering the 18 official bikes in the line-up, he did a good job scoring on several occasions. And today, watching him winning in the Super Sport World Championship makes me feel proud of having contributed to his growth. Eugene is a great rider but when he drives a car he’s worse than my aunt!”
Stefan Bradl: “I am excited to be back after the winter break and more importantly, I am happy to be back with Lucio and his Team. Last year we had a very positive season and I felt that everybody gave their maximum support for me in my debut in MotoGP class. Firstly I must thank Honda HRC for believing in me and to thank them again for making the RCV as it is a real dream bike. The main target for me is to be on the podium this year, I think we have the potential to do that. For sure, the challenge is high and my rivals are very strong, but as soon as somebody in front makes a mistake we should be there to catch a podium”.
LCR Team Statistics
|1996 ||Lucio Cecchinello 15th, 125cc class World Championship |
|1997||Lucio Cecchinello 14th , 125cc class World Championship|
|1998||Lucio Cecchinello 5th, 125cc class World Championship |
| ||Nobby Ueda 13th, 125cc class World Championship|
|1999||Lucio Cecchinello 9th, 125cc class World Championship |
| ||Nobby Ueda 5th, 125cc class World Championship|
|2000||Lucio Cecchinello 11th, 125cc class World Championship |
| ||Nobby Ueda 5th, 125cc class World Championship|
|2001||Lucio Cecchinello 4th, 125cc class World Championship|
| ||Raul Jara 9th, 125cc class World Championship|
|2002||Lucio Cecchinello 4th, 125cc class World Championship |
| ||Alex De Angelis 9th, 125cc class World Championship|
| ||Casey Stoner 12th, 250cc class World Championship |
| ||David Checa 13th, 250cc class World Championship|
|2003||Lucio Cecchinello 9th, 125cc class World Championship |
| ||Casey Stoner 8th, 125cc class World Championship|
| ||Randy De Puniet 4th, 250cc class World Championship|
|2004||Roberto Locatelli 3rd, 125cc class World Championship |
| ||Mattia Pasini 15th, 125cc class World Championship|
| ||Randy De Puniet 3rd, 250cc class World Championship|
|2005||Roberto Locatelli 13th, 250cc class World Championship|
| ||Casey Stoner 2nd, 250cc class World Championship|
|2006||Casey Stoner 8th, MotoGP class World Championship|
|2007||Carlos Checa 14th, MotoGP class World Championship|
| ||Eugene Laverty, 25th 250cc class World Championship|
|2008||Randy de Puniet, 15th MotoGP class World Championship|
|| Randy de Puniet, 11th MotoGP class World Championship|
|2010||Randy de Puniet, 9th MotoGP class World Championship|
|2011||Toni Elias, 15th MotoGP class World Championship|
|2012||Stefan Bradl, 8th MotoGP class World Championship|