There has been a lot of speculation as to who will end up where from the start of the 2017 MotoGP season, as a lot of riders’ contracts are up and Movistar Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo announced his two year contract and move to the factory Ducati team.
Since this major change from the 2015 MotoGP Championship, a waterfall of speculation has occurred as we await the news of who will replace him. Team Suzuki Ecstar rider Maverick Vinales is earmarked for the spot but recently it was announced by Spanish and English sources that Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa was going to fill his spot. This was to the surprise of Vinales and his representatives.
Pedrosa ends speculation surrounding his future
It has been announced today on Monday 16th May 2016 that Pedrosa will in fact remain with Repsol Honda until the end of the 2018 season as he has extended his contract by two years.
Honda Racing Corporation posted on their website that they are “Pleased to announce the renewal of its contract for an additional two years.” Ending the speculation surrounding him, and confirming what bosses said previously when asked that they had no plans to make any changes in the team they said, “Both parties are pleased to reach the agreement ahead of this week’s Grand Prix”.
The sixth round of the MotoGP is set to take place at Mugello, Italy and will be “the 30-year-old Spanish rider’s 250th in the World Championship”.
Pedrosa has only ever represented Honda
Pedrosa has a long history with Honda having ridden for them since his debut in 2001 when he rode competed in the 125cc class. Having won both the 125cc and 250cc championships he progressed to the MotoGP in 2006 where he continued to ride with Honda for the Repsol Honda team. He has not yet won a championship with the team however he has “achieved more podium finished for the Honda factory than any other rider”.
He has graced the podium one hundred and forty-two times, he took the top step fifty-one times which is “just three fewer than Mick Doohan’s Honda record”. He is now currently fourth in the championship as his consistency has paid off. Other riders have been in contention for podium places which would have prevented him, however they have crashed out at various stages allowing the cool, calm Spaniard to make his way up the field.
Pedrosa remains loyal and grateful of trust
Pedrosa said he is “Very happy to be able to announce my renewal with the Repsol Honda Team”. In his statement he spoke of how he is “very grateful” to the team “for the trust shown” when it comings to renewing their contract with him for two years. Pedrosa feels this decision is “the best for me to continue with the company I was with at my very first race”.
The Spaniards loyalty shows and he confirmed, “I’m happy that the negotiations have been quick” and now he plans to “focus on racing”. Looking forward to the next round he said, “I want to give 100% this weekend at the Italian GP”.
Makamoto appreciates loyalty
Shuhei Makamoto, HRC Executive Vice President, spoke of how they are “very pleased” and that they “really appreciate his loyalty to Honda and HRC”. Speaking the long collaboration between the two he said, “We always see in Dani the same passion and dedication”. Recognising what he brings to the team he said, “His experience is very important for helping our technicians to develop out bike”, speaking of the support they will continue to give to Pedrosa he said, “We’ll do our best to help him to demonstrate all his talent!”
Mysteries still unsolved
The space at Yamaha still remains, and Ducati still have to announce the decision they have made concerning which rider will have to make room for Lorenzo.