Compact, slick and well-run: all attributes of the LCR Honda MotoGP team which in 2014 embarks on its ninth season in the premier class of the World Championship.
From humble beginnings: How LCR started out
The team was formed by Lucio Cecchinello for the 1996 season, and began its adventure in the 125cc class with Cecchinello himself riding as the sole entry on a Honda. The Italian slowly built his project and after three years expanded to a two-rider team.
In 2002, the team ran both 125cc and 250cc set-ups, and Cecchinello rode his final campaign in 2003 before retiring to concentrate full-time on running things from the pit box.
They made the step-up to MotoGP in 2006 with Casey Stoner, who'd ridden in the 250s the year before (and in 125cc, in 2003) and it was an exciting debut for both parties. A podium in just the third race of the season – almost a win – was a highlight, and since then the team has enjoyed similarly buoyant moments with Randy de Puniet and now Stefan Bradl.
The team behind LCR
With Cecchinello at the helm, there is a network around him that helps keep the team ticking over.
Frenchman Christophe Bourguignon has been crew chief since 2008, after a career in motorcycling that began in motocross back in 1989. Northern Irishman Chris Richardson, a mechanic, has been with the team since 2002, working closely with the likes of Stoner and remaining friends with the Australian to this day.
In total there are six technical staff on the LCR crew, with external support also coming from an Öhlins suspension technician, a Bridgestone tyre rep, and two Honda supervising engineers.
Stefan Bradl: Moto2 World Champion and MotoGP talent
After taking the Moto2 title in 2011, German rider Stefan Bradl was given his shot in MotoGP with LCR in 2012 and he didn't disappoint. A sterling rookie season was followed up by further improvement in 2013, when he received factory support from Honda and also achieved his first podium. The season ended on a more bitter note with a fractured ankle however.
Son of former 250cc runner-up Helmut Bradl, a fit and ready Stefan enters his third season with the team in 2014.
The machinery: Honda RC213V
This year, Bradl will be on the 2014 version of the Honda RC213V, the evolution of Marc Márquez's 2013 Championship-winning bike.
Packing in over 230bhp, the 1000cc, V4 engine has undergone a revamp for this year to improve fuel consumption, while a modified chassis and fairing ensure the perfect housing for transferring that power to the tarmac.
LCR Honda fact file
Name: Team LCR Honda
In MotoGP since: 2006 (started in the 125cc category in 1996)
Based: Monte Carlo, Monaco
Team Owner/Manager: Lucio Cecchinello
High: Debut in MotoGP class in 2006
Low: 2011 season
Notable former riders: Carlos Checa, Casey Stoner, Randy de Puniet
Most successful rider: Stefan Bradl, 156 points and 7th position overall in 2013
2014 MotoGP machine: Honda RC214V
2014 rider line-up: Stefan Bradl (#6)