What's in a name? Well, quite a lot actually, which is why searching Google for "product name development" returns nearly 60 million hits. Around the world, there are thousands of companies that make a living doing nothing more than sitting in a room with sheets of paper thinking up new names for companies and products. These companies are paid very large sums of money when they deliver a suitable name, and part of their brief is to ensure that the name selected can be freely used for the chosen purpose.
And that's where it all went a little haywire for the Maxtra racing team. The British-based team, headed by racing legend John Surtees, found that a French company was already using the name Maxtra, despite their lawyers having researched the availability of the name, and were forced to abandon the Maxtra name for something else.
Today, the team officially announced that they will henceforth be known as Haojue, after the Chinese factory which is financing the effort. Haojue is part of the Dachangjiang Group, China's biggest motorcycle manufacturer, which produces some 3 million motorcycles a year, mostly for the domestic Chinese market.
Garry Taylor, Team Haojue director, said that the team had been forced to close the former Team Maxtra website, and had a new basic website up at http://www.haojue-racing.com/. At the time of writing, that website was redirecting traffic to the main Haojue company site.
Taylor also said that Harris Performance was working on developing the chassis and bodywork, and that Jan Witteveen is "testing and developing a variety of new engine components". Sources close to Witteveen have previously told MotoGPMatters.com that Witteveen was only involved in providing spares for the engine, and was not involved in any new development. It would appear from Taylor's statement that this is no longer the case, and that Witteveen's role has been expanded.
Team Haojue is due to make its public debut at the official IRTA test in Jerez next week, where Matt Hoyle and Michael Ranseder will take to the track to put the Haojue through its paces.