Australia the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area; the neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea and East Timor to the north. The population of 25 million is urbanised and concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, its largest city is Sydney; the country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide. Australia was inhabited by indigenous Australians for about 60,000 years before the first British settlement in the late 18th century, it is documented. After the European exploration of the continent by Dutch explorers in 1606, who named it New Holland, Australia's eastern half was claimed by Great Britain in 1770 and settled through penal transportation to the colony of New South Wales from 26 January 1788, a date which became Australia's national day; the population grew in subsequent decades, by the 1850s most of the continent had been explored and an additional five self-governing crown colonies established.
On 1 January 1901, the six colonies federated. Australia has since maintained a stable liberal democratic political system that functions as a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy, comprising six states and ten territories. Being the oldest and driest inhabited continent, with the least fertile soils, Australia has a landmass of 7,617,930 square kilometres. A megadiverse country, its size gives it a wide variety of landscapes, with deserts in the centre, tropical rainforests in the north-east and mountain ranges in the south-east. A gold rush began in Australia in the early 1850s, its population density, 2.8 inhabitants per square kilometre, remains among the lowest in the world. Australia generates its income from various sources including mining-related exports, telecommunications and manufacturing. Indigenous Australian rock art is the oldest and richest in the world, dating as far back as 60,000 years and spread across hundreds of thousands of sites. Australia is a developed country, with the world's 14th-largest economy.
It has a high-income economy, with the world's tenth-highest per capita income. It is a regional power, has the world's 13th-highest military expenditure. Australia has the world's ninth-largest immigrant population, with immigrants accounting for 26% of the population. Having the third-highest human development index and the eighth-highest ranked democracy globally, the country ranks in quality of life, education, economic freedom, civil liberties and political rights, with all its major cities faring well in global comparative livability surveys. Australia is a member of the United Nations, G20, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, World Trade Organization, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, Pacific Islands Forum and the ASEAN Plus Six mechanism; the name Australia is derived from the Latin Terra Australis, a name used for a hypothetical continent in the Southern Hemisphere since ancient times. When Europeans first began visiting and mapping Australia in the 17th century, the name Terra Australis was applied to the new territories.
Until the early 19th century, Australia was best known as "New Holland", a name first applied by the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman in 1644 and subsequently anglicised. Terra Australis still saw occasional usage, such as in scientific texts; the name Australia was popularised by the explorer Matthew Flinders, who said it was "more agreeable to the ear, an assimilation to the names of the other great portions of the earth". The first time that Australia appears to have been used was in April 1817, when Governor Lachlan Macquarie acknowledged the receipt of Flinders' charts of Australia from Lord Bathurst. In December 1817, Macquarie recommended to the Colonial Office. In 1824, the Admiralty agreed that the continent should be known by that name; the first official published use of the new name came with the publication in 1830 of The Australia Directory by the Hydrographic Office. Colloquial names for Australia include "Oz" and "the Land Down Under". Other epithets include "the Great Southern Land", "the Lucky Country", "the Sunburnt Country", "the Wide Brown Land".
The latter two both derive from Dorothea Mackellar's 1908 poem "My Country". Human habitation of the Australian continent is estimated to have begun around 65,000 to 70,000 years ago, with the migration of people by land bridges and short sea-crossings from what is now Southeast Asia; these first inhabitants were the ancestors of modern Indigenous Australians. Aboriginal Australian culture is one of the oldest continual civilisations on earth. At the time of first European contact, most Indigenous Australians were hunter-gatherers with complex economies and societies. Recent archaeological finds suggest. Indigenous Australians have an oral culture with spiritual values based on reverence for the land and a belief in the Dreamtime; the Torres Strait Islanders, ethnically Melanesian, obtained their livelihood from seasonal horticulture and the resources of their reefs and seas. The northern coasts and waters of Australia were visited s
Welkom is the second-largest city in the Free State province of South Africa, located about 140 kilometres northeast of Bloemfontein, the provincial capital. Welkom is known as Circle City, City Within A Garden and Matjhabeng; the city's Sesotho name, Matjhabeng means'where nations meet', derived from the migrant labour system, where people of various countries such as Lesotho and Mozambique etc. met to work in the mines of the gold fields. A settlement was laid out on a farm named "Welkom" after gold was discovered in the region, it was proclaimed a town in 1948; the town became a municipality in 1961. It now falls in the Matjhabeng Municipality, part of the Lejweleputswa District. Welkom was declared a city on 14 February 1968. Much of the history of Welkom is centred around the discovery of gold in the northwestern Free State, it was proclaimed a town in 1948, nines years after a major gold discovery was made in Odendaalsrus, just north of Welkom. The first prospecting in the area was done by the Englishmen Mr Donaldson and Mr Hinds on a portion of the farm Zoeten-Inval in 1896.
The men discovered a small outcrop which seemed to be a conglomerate pebble reef, but they failed to raise interest among mining companies who at that stage did not believe that there was gold to be discovered south of the Vaal River. They returned to England to test the samples they had extracted, but died before reaching their destination when their ship sank in the Bay of Biscay. Prospector Arthur Megson heard of their venture and decided to investigate near the town of Odendaalsrus in 1904, he gathered samples of exposed strata near an outcrop, which by was part of Hendrik Petrus Klopper's farm Aandenk. He too did not succeed in obtaining any interest from companies until October 1932, when he presented his findings to Allan Roberts and Mannie Jacobs; the area needed to be tested by drilling, the first borehole was started on 5 May 1933. Jacobs managed to interest two men, Fritz Marx and Peter Woolf, in the venture and the Wit Extensions Company was formed that year. Although the borehole, which by penetrated more than 1200 metres, yielded 120-inch pennyweights of gold, it was not enough to garner financial assistance and the operation had to close due to depleted finances..
However, the discovery of gold-bearing reef in the Klerksdorp area in 1933 by the Anglo American Corporation encouraged geologists and others with vision to see the northwestern Free State as a potential gold field. Prospecting intensified and the first high values of gold were discovered in 1939. By 1940, sufficient work had been done to prove the existence of gold in the area and thirteen mining areas were demarcated around what would become the town of Welkom. Welkom came into being on 15 April 1947, six years after the first mining lease in the area was awarded to the St Helena Gold Mining Company, was proclaimed a town on 23 July 1948. On 14 February 1968, after 21 years of existence, Welkom received city status, celebrated this event with the opening of the Civic Centre by Mrs Martie du Plessis; the construction of this building commenced in 1964. During Apartheid in the years of segregation, the townships of Thabong and Bronville were established for black and Coloured people, respectively.
On 8 December 1976, Welkom experienced an earthquake measuring 5.2 on the Richter magnitude scale. The most significant damage caused was the total collapse of a six-storey block of flats about 75 minutes after the event. Widespread damage to many other buildings was experienced throughout the city. Despite extensive damage to surface and underground mining structures, only four deaths occurred. During the decline of the Apartheid era, race relations were problematic as many White South Africans felt threatened by the eventuality of a regime change; this was the main cause of the events that transpired on 13 May 1989, when the mayor, a Mr Gus Gouws, was tarred and feathered after officiating at a multiracial wheelchair marathon event. The National Party mayor ran foul of his White constituency when he proposed the opening of a taxi rank in the business district of Welkom. Aggrieved residents of the city sought to humiliate him to dissuade him from authorising the erection of the facility, by assaulting him and a security guard, while he was officiating at the event.
Four men were charged with the assault. On 20 March 1990, Welkom was struck by a multi-vortex tornado; this tornado had a width of up to 1.7 km. This weather event proved to be the most devastating recorded in South Africa to date, destroying 4000 homes. On 26 September 1990, Welkom experienced a seismic event with a magnitude of 4.2, which resulted in two deaths and five injuries. The mining company Pamodzi Gold applied for bankruptcy in 2009 though it was sitting atop one of the richest and consistently-producing gold veins in the world; the gold mine, President Steyn, was owned by the Thistle Mining Co. up until February 2008, reported a total sale of 487,069 troy ounces of gold from 2004 to 2006. On 29 October 2007, Thistle Gold Mining entered into a'Sale of Shares and Claims Agreement' under the South African government's black economic empowerment laws, under which Thistle's direct and indirect interests were sold to Pamodzi Gold for $14-million. In 2010, Harmony Gold subsequently acquired President St
France the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean, it is bordered by Belgium and Germany to the northeast and Italy to the east, Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic and Indian oceans; the country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nice. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia which became the Kingdom of France in 987 emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages following its victory in the Hundred Years' War. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world; the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Protestants. France became Europe's dominant cultural and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV. In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, established one of modern history's earliest republics, saw the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. In the 19th century, Napoleon established the First French Empire, his subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870.
France was a major participant in World War I, from which it emerged victorious, was one of the Allies in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis powers in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War; the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, remains today. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s and retained close economic and military connections with France. France has long been a global centre of art and philosophy, it hosts the world's fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually. France is a developed country with the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP, tenth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of aggregate household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, human development.
France is considered a great power in global affairs, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a leading member state of the European Union and the Eurozone, a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, La Francophonie. Applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name "France" comes from the Latin "Francia", or "country of the Franks". Modern France is still named today "Francia" in Italian and Spanish, "Frankreich" in German and "Frankrijk" in Dutch, all of which have more or less the same historical meaning. There are various theories as to the origin of the name Frank. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the word frank in English, it has been suggested that the meaning of "free" was adopted because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation.
Another theory is that it is derived from the Proto-Germanic word frankon, which translates as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the Franks was known as a francisca. However, it has been determined that these weapons were named because of their use by the Franks, not the other way around; the oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from 1.8 million years ago. Over the ensuing millennia, Humans were confronted by a harsh and variable climate, marked by several glacial eras. Early hominids led a nomadic hunter-gatherer life. France has a large number of decorated caves from the upper Palaeolithic era, including one of the most famous and best preserved, Lascaux. At the end of the last glacial period, the climate became milder. After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium working gold and bronze, iron. France has numerous megalithic sites from the Neolithic period, including the exceptiona
Italy the Italian Republic, is a country in Southern Europe. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Austria and the enclaved microstates San Marino and Vatican City. Italy covers an area of 301,340 km2 and has a temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. With around 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth-most populous EU member state and the most populous country in Southern Europe. Due to its central geographic location in Southern Europe and the Mediterranean, Italy has been home to a myriad of peoples and cultures. In addition to the various ancient peoples dispersed throughout modern-day Italy, the most famous of which being the Indo-European Italics who gave the peninsula its name, beginning from the classical era and Carthaginians founded colonies in insular Italy and Genoa, Greeks established settlements in the so-called Magna Graecia, while Etruscans and Celts inhabited central and northern Italy respectively; the Italic tribe known as the Latins formed the Roman Kingdom in the 8th century BC, which became a republic with a government of the Senate and the People.
The Roman Republic conquered and assimilated its neighbours on the peninsula, in some cases through the establishment of federations, the Republic expanded and conquered parts of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. By the first century BC, the Roman Empire emerged as the dominant power in the Mediterranean Basin and became the leading cultural and religious centre of Western civilisation, inaugurating the Pax Romana, a period of more than 200 years during which Italy's technology, economy and literature flourished. Italy remained the metropole of the Roman Empire; the legacy of the Roman Empire endured its fall and can be observed in the global distribution of culture, governments and the Latin script. During the Early Middle Ages, Italy endured sociopolitical collapse and barbarian invasions, but by the 11th century, numerous rival city-states and maritime republics in the northern and central regions of Italy, rose to great prosperity through shipping and banking, laying the groundwork for modern capitalism.
These independent statelets served as Europe's main trading hubs with Asia and the Near East enjoying a greater degree of democracy than the larger feudal monarchies that were consolidating throughout Europe. The Renaissance began in Italy and spread to the rest of Europe, bringing a renewed interest in humanism, science and art. Italian culture flourished, producing famous scholars and polymaths such as Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and Machiavelli. During the Middle Ages, Italian explorers such as Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci, John Cabot and Giovanni da Verrazzano discovered new routes to the Far East and the New World, helping to usher in the European Age of Discovery. Italy's commercial and political power waned with the opening of trade routes that bypassed the Mediterranean. Centuries of infighting between the Italian city-states, such as the Italian Wars of the 15th and 16th centuries, left the region fragmented, it was subsequently conquered and further divided by European powers such as France and Austria.
By the mid-19th century, rising Italian nationalism and calls for independence from foreign control led to a period of revolutionary political upheaval. After centuries of foreign domination and political division, Italy was entirely unified in 1871, establishing the Kingdom of Italy as a great power. From the late 19th century to the early 20th century, Italy industrialised, namely in the north, acquired a colonial empire, while the south remained impoverished and excluded from industrialisation, fuelling a large and influential diaspora. Despite being one of the main victors in World War I, Italy entered a period of economic crisis and social turmoil, leading to the rise of a fascist dictatorship in 1922. Participation in World War II on the Axis side ended in military defeat, economic destruction and the Italian Civil War. Following the liberation of Italy and the rise of the resistance, the country abolished the monarchy, reinstated democracy, enjoyed a prolonged economic boom and, despite periods of sociopolitical turmoil became a developed country.
Today, Italy is considered to be one of the world's most culturally and economically advanced countries, with the sixth-largest worldwide national wealth. Its advanced economy ranks eighth-largest in the world and third in the Eurozone by nominal GDP. Italy owns the third-largest central bank gold reserve, it has a high level of human development, it stands among the top countries for life expectancy. The country plays a prominent role in regional and global economic, military and diplomatic affairs. Italy is a founding and leading member of the European Union and a member of numerous international institutions, including the UN, NATO, the OECD, the OSCE, the WTO, the G7, the G20, the Union for the Mediterranean, the Council of Europe, Uniting for Consensus, the Schengen Area and many more; as a reflection
Ten Kate Racing
Ten Kate Racing is a motorcycle racing team competing in the Superbike World Championship under the name Ten Kate Yamaha WorldSBK with 2019 rider Loris Baz with Gulf Althea Racing BMW Motorrad. The team hope to participate in a part-season, commencing in June. Ten Kate had the official backing of Honda for 18 years until late 2018, being their presence in both World Superbikes and World Supersport series, with reports of Honda's sudden withdrawal causing team bankruptcy. Gerrit ten Kate was a full-time motocross rider. After semi-retirement from his own career, he guided his nephew Ronald ten Kate through regional motocross series to fourth place in the Dutch national championship. Having founded a workshop undertaking mechanics for other riders during his career, it was noticed that Ronald's bike was fast, which resulted in Gerrit expanding his workshop to the point where he was selling and maintaining 50/60 bikes per annum. In 1993, Gerrit gave up his own motocross activities to concentrate on developing his motorcycle dealership Ten Kate Motorcycles in Nieuwleusen, near Zwolle in the north of the Netherlands.
Soon after foundation, local road racing rider Harry van Beek came to the showroom looking for help, so Gerrit fixed it. Van Beek got a wildcard entry in the European Superstock round at Hockenheim, where he found he had the fastest bike; as a result, from 1994 Ten Kate entered road racing maintenance. From 1995, the team entered its own team in regional Dutch road racing. Managed by Ronald ten Kate, each season Ten Kate Racing has increased in scope and size, now takes a team of 28 - including technicians, administrative staff and four riders - to contest the World Superbike and Supersport champ: The team first entered the Supersport World Championship full-time in 2001, using Honda CBR600F4i motorcycles. In 2002 Ten Kate rider Fabien Foret won Honda's first in Supersport; the team went on to win all of the last six Supersport World Championships using the Honda CBR600RR. In 2003 Chris Vermeulen won the title, followed by Karl Muggeridge in 2004, Sébastien Charpentier in 2005, who retained his title in 2006, the first rider to do so, Kenan Sofuoğlu who won the championship in 2007.
In 2008 Ten Kate wins with Andrew Pitt. In 2004 the team moved up to the Superbike World Championship using the Honda CBR1000RR and Chris Vermeulen as its single rider. Despite being a privateer entry with no support from Honda who had withdrawn its support from the Superbike World Championship, Chris Vermeulen finished fourth in the championship with four wins and was in contention for the title until the final round of the season; the team expanded into a two motorcycles operation in 2005 with Karl Muggeridge joining Chris Vermeulen. Vermeulen managed 6 wins and finished the championship runner-up while Muggeridge had a poorer season and finished 11th. Chris Vermeulen moved to MotoGP in 2006 and was replaced by 2004 Superbike World Champion James Toseland. Toseland finished the season runner-up with 3 race wins, while teammate Karl Muggeridge once again had a poorer season finishing 12th. In 2007 James Toseland was joined in the team by Roberto Rolfo. Toseland got 8 race wins and won the championship in the final race of the season by a margin of 2 points.
Rolfo finished 8th overall. For 2008 the team continues to use Honda motorcycles, CBR1000RR in Superbikes, CBR600RR for Supersport. With James Toseland moving to MotoGP, former MotoGP rider Carlos Checa and 2 times British Superbike Champion Ryuichi Kiyonari join the team, while 2007 Supersport World Champion Kenan Sofuoğlu will ride a third motorcycle under the banner of Hannspree Ten Kate Honda Jr. Kenan Sofuoğlu and 2001 Supersport World Champion Andrew Pitt ride for the team in the 2009 Supersport World Championship. Honda has announced its plans for the 2013 World Superbike and World Supersport championships, which include a new four-rider line-up, a comprehensive technical development and testing programme and a new title sponsor. In the World Superbike championship, current rider Jonathan Rea has signed with the team once more and will team-up with fellow Briton Leon Haslam on the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade. In the World Supersport championship, Italian Lorenzo Zanetti will ride Honda’s CBR600RR alongside Michael van der Mark from the Netherlands.
Italian snack manufacturer Pata is the new title sponsor of the reinvigorated squad which will be known as the Pata Honda World Superbike and Pata Honda World Supersport teams. Both groups will once again be run by the Netherlands-based Ten Kate organisation. For Jonathan Rea, 2013 will mark a fifth year on Honda’s CBR1000RR Fireblade and his sixth season of racing with Ten Kate; the 25-year-old has enjoyed a spectacular and busy 2012, combining his World Superbike duties – including wins at Assen and Donington Park – with getting married and winning the Suzuka 8-hour race. More Northern Irishman Rea has replaced the injured Casey Stoner in the Repsol Honda MotoGP team, riding back-to-back Grands Prix with the final three rounds of World Superbike. Haslam, 29, returns to Honda’s CBR machinery after a three-year absence to continue a strong family link to the Japanese manufacturer, it was begun by his father, who won Formula 1 world championships and raced with Honda in 500cc Grands Prix. With his own 250cc and 500cc GP experience, the younger Haslam, from Derbyshire in the UK, has been racing in the World Superbike championship since 2009 and was runner-up in the 2010 series.
He has amassed a total including three race wins. Lorenzo Zanetti is from Brescia in Italy and has been in the World Superbike paddock for three years, but began his career with Honda, winning the RS125 GP Cup in Italy in 2004; the 25-year-old finished third in the 2011 Superstoc
Honda Motor Company, Ltd. is a Japanese public multinational conglomerate corporation known as a manufacturer of automobiles, aircraft and power equipment. Honda has been the world's largest motorcycle manufacturer since 1959, as well as the world's largest manufacturer of internal combustion engines measured by volume, producing more than 14 million internal combustion engines each year. Honda became the second-largest Japanese automobile manufacturer in 2001. Honda was the eighth largest automobile manufacturer in the world in 2015. Honda was the first Japanese automobile manufacturer to release a dedicated luxury brand, Acura, in 1986. Aside from their core automobile and motorcycle businesses, Honda manufactures garden equipment, marine engines, personal watercraft and power generators, other products. Since 1986, Honda has been involved with artificial intelligence/robotics research and released their ASIMO robot in 2000, they have ventured into aerospace with the establishment of GE Honda Aero Engines in 2004 and the Honda HA-420 HondaJet, which began production in 2012.
Honda has three joint-ventures in China. In 2013, Honda invested about 5.7 % of its revenues in development. In 2013, Honda became the first Japanese automaker to be a net exporter from the United States, exporting 108,705 Honda and Acura models, while importing only 88,357. Throughout his life, Honda's founder, Soichiro Honda, had an interest in automobiles, he worked as a mechanic at the Art Shokai garage, where he entered them in races. In 1937, with financing from his acquaintance Kato Shichirō, Honda founded Tōkai Seiki to make piston rings working out of the Art Shokai garage. After initial failures, Tōkai Seiki won a contract to supply piston rings to Toyota, but lost the contract due to the poor quality of their products. After attending engineering school without graduating, visiting factories around Japan to better understand Toyota's quality control processes, by 1941 Honda was able to mass-produce piston rings acceptable to Toyota, using an automated process that could employ unskilled wartime laborers.
Tōkai Seiki was placed under control of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry at the start of World War II, Soichiro Honda was demoted from president to senior managing director after Toyota took a 40% stake in the company. Honda aided the war effort by assisting other companies in automating the production of military aircraft propellers; the relationships Honda cultivated with personnel at Toyota, Nakajima Aircraft Company and the Imperial Japanese Navy would be instrumental in the postwar period. A US B-29 bomber attack destroyed Tōkai Seiki's Yamashita plant in 1944, the Itawa plant collapsed in 13 January 1945 Mikawa earthquake. Soichiro Honda sold the salvageable remains of the company to Toyota after the war for ¥450,000, used the proceeds to found the Honda Technical Research Institute in October 1946. With a staff of 12 men working in a 16 m2 shack, they built and sold improvised motorized bicycles, using a supply of 500 two-stroke 50 cc Tohatsu war surplus radio generator engines.
When the engines ran out, Honda began building their own copy of the Tohatsu engine, supplying these to customers to attach to their bicycles. This was the Honda A-Type, nicknamed the Bata Bata for the sound. In 1949, the Honda Technical Research Institute was liquidated for ¥1,000,000, or about US$5,000 today. At about the same time Honda hired engineer Kihachiro Kawashima, Takeo Fujisawa who provided indispensable business and marketing expertise to complement Soichiro Honda's technical bent; the close partnership between Soichiro Honda and Fujisawa lasted until they stepped down together in October 1973. The first complete motorcycle, with both the frame and engine made by Honda, was the 1949 D-Type, the first Honda to go by the name Dream. Honda Motor Company grew in a short time to become the world's largest manufacturer of motorcycles by 1964; the first production automobile from Honda was the T360 mini pick-up truck, which went on sale in August 1963. Powered by a small 356-cc straight-4 gasoline engine, it was classified under the cheaper Kei car tax bracket.
The first production car from Honda was the S500 sports car, which followed the T360 into production in October 1963. Its chain-driven rear wheels pointed to Honda's motorcycle origins. Over the next few decades, Honda worked to expand its product line and expanded operations and exports to numerous countries around the world. In 1986, Honda introduced the successful Acura brand to the American market in an attempt to gain ground in the luxury vehicle market; the year 1991 saw the introduction of the Honda NSX supercar, the first all-aluminum monocoque vehicle that incorporated a mid-engine V6 with variable-valve timing. CEO Tadashi Kume was succeeded by Nobuhiko Kawamoto in 1990. Kawamoto was selected over Shoichiro Irimajiri, who oversaw the successful establishment of Honda of America Manufacturing, Inc. in Marysville, Ohio. Irimajiri and Kawamoto shared a friendly rivalry within Honda. Following the death of Soichiro Honda and the departure of Irimajiri, Honda found itself being outpaced in product development by other Japanese automakers and was caught off-guard by the truck and sport utility vehicle boom of the 1990s, all which took a toll on the profitability of the company.
Japanese media reported in 1992 and 1993 that Honda was at serious risk of an unwanted and hostile takeov
Losail International Circuit
Losail International Circuit is a motor racing circuit located just outside in the town of Lusail, north of Doha, Qatar. Built in just under a year by 1,000 workers at the cost of $US 58 million, the track opened in 2004 to the inaugural Marlboro Grand Prix of Qatar, won by Sete Gibernau. In addition the circuit hosted; the track is 5.380 km in length, with a main straight of just over a kilometre at 1,068 metres. It is surrounded by artificial grass to stop the sand encroaching on the track, it happens to be somewhat similar to the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir. In 2007, Losail added permanent outdoor lighting for night races. At the time, the lighting of the Losail Circuit by Musco Lighting was the largest permanent venue sports lighting project in the world, a distinction that now belongs to another Gulf motorsport venue, Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi; the first night race in MotoGP history was the Commercialbank Grand Prix of Qatar in March 2008. In February 2009, a GP2 Asia Series nighttime race took place.
Best qualifying lap was achieved by Nico Hülkenberg in 1:35.741. The Superbike World Championship has visited Losail from 2014-present. In addition, the venue has hosted the opening round of the FIM Motocross World Championship since 2013. Official website MotoGP calendar brief on Losail Trackpedia's guide to driving the Losail International Circuit Google maps satellite view of Losail International Circuit