Honda's future UK plans in doubt following F1 pull-out

Last week's announcement that Honda have pulled out of Formula 1 racing has led to speculation about the Japanese giant's future plans, both in terms of sporting involvement and vehicle production.

Despite figures from the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA) showing that bike sales have steadily increased since August, the economic downturn has put jobs at risk across the motoring industry.

Honda recently revealed that workers at their Swindon production plant have had their hours reduced in an effort to avoid redundancies, while staff at the Brackley, Northamptonshire plant (closely linked with the F1 team) have been hit harder, as they have been told to expect some lay-offs towards Christmas.

Neil Tuxworth, head of Honda Racing, told the BBC on Friday that Honda will continue to be involved in the 2009 British Superbike season, with Glen Richards and Josh Brookes lined up to race for the team.