Andrea Dovizioso: "My Target Is To Stay In The Repsol Honda Team"

After Friday's first session of free practice for the MotoGP class in Brno, a small group of journalists attended Andrea Dovizioso's media debrief in the Repsol Honda hospitality. Dovizioso talked about a number of things, but the main topic of conversation was the state of his contract negotiations. Here's what Dovizioso had to say about the state of play. 

Q: Do you have any idea about your contract for next year? You're still taking to Honda?

Andrea Dovizioso: Yes. We're still talking and nothing's fixed. Our target is to continue.

Q: To continue in the factory Repsol Honda team?

AD: Exactly.

Q: And not as an HRC factory rider in another team?

AD: No. Our idea is this one, we need to find a way for everybody to be happy, and we're still working on that. Sure, this weekend I think we can make a big step, but I don't know when it will be fixed.

Q: When do you think it will be fixed?

AD: Maximum end of this month.

Q: Would it be acceptable for you if Honda were to offer you the same support in another team?

AD: I don't want to think about all possible options. Our target is this [to remain in Repsol Honda - MM]. 

Q: But you have options, you have alternatives...

AD: I have, but I don't want to think about them. Our idea is to stay here. 

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Here's a racer who is fighting for his place in a factory team and he is not showing the back of his tongue towards some journo. Hardly a toddler.

Hardly a child. Let us not forget the stipulations in Dovi's contract based upon his performances this year that guarantee him a factory HRC team. He has done everything asked of him, performing well above average for a #2 rider. I'm not a huge Dovi fan, but I fully support him in his quest to remain a Repsol rider. Both parties signed the contract, Honda needs to find a way to live up to their side.

"denial" is not helping his cause. There is NO fight to fight. There are only 2 bikes in Repsol. The team has been chosen for next year and as unfair as it is, Dovi is out. He needs to accept it and prepare for the future in different colors.

I understand what you are saying about denial. However, I wish Honda would just write the damn check and support him. Repsol was once a four rider team. I dont know the language of the contract, but if Honda is weaseling out of honoring the factory seat using the the lack of the word Repsol appearing in said contract, well, thats pretty weak.

I'm still surprised Red Bull decided not to step up and support Dovi on a factory Bike. With the Tech 3 team getting great support from Monster, you'd think Red Bull would up their ante in the energy drink wars. This is the premiere class, and with Dovi's recent performances, you're getting a much better marketing dollar than Monster is getting from sponsoring a satellite team. Not to mention, that this would only be a 1 bike effort with HRC footing not only Dovi's contract, but also covering the costs of a full HRC technical team. Honda's cost for Prime sponsorship must have been exuberant.

...Mateschitz is spending money on called "F1" (and the Rookies Cup).  Seeing how well that team is doing, one would think he'd want to spread that around.  I agree with you; for a comparatively small sum, he could appear to own all of the top levels of international motor racing.

I definitely thing Dovizioso deserves a factory ride next year. He has been really strong the past few years. If Honda made the promise to keep him in the Repsol team based on results he has achieved, they should find a way to keep him. Companies that deal in bad faith irritate me no end.

Number one rule With hrc is don't trust hrc!! In Rossi's contract they owed him the bike he won the last 500cc two stroke title with. Did he ever get it, hell no!! I am amazed Nicky got his Rc211V that he won the 2006 title on! Look how they treated Nicky. He won the title inspite of hrc not because of them. They treated him like crap even after he won the title. They designed the bike (last 211 and all the 212's) for pedrosa, listened to puig and had a bike nobody could ride. (The 212 is starting to shape up though) HRC and Repsol will have a loop hole and demote Dovi regardless of contract! The list is long on HRC broken promises!

So if Dovi finishes in the top 5, he has an option to stay at Repsol.

Who's option? Dovi's or Honda's or both? If the contract says if he achieves this he can stay on the factory team, does this mean Honda must buy his contract out or place 3 Repsols on the grid (inc. Stoner)? Can someone explain? Cheers

Is there a copy of the contract that we can read or is it just maybes and probablies? I know there is some doubt about who is riding where, but I'm guessing we don't really know what's in the contract. Either way...Dovi is quality and Honda are a bunch of dicks if they don't give him equal support.

I heard that the Repsol-Red Bull hang up is that if there are three factory riders, each company wants its name on ALL the factory bikes. It's not like there would be one Red Bull Factory Bike and Two Repsol Factory Bikes.

Repsol does not want a Factory Bike without the Repsol name on it. Same for Red Bull. But Repsol does not want to share Factory Sponsorship with Red Bull, as in the Repsol-Red Bull factory Honda team.

The only logical thing to happen is that Dovi will take his engineers with him to Gresini with contractual assurances of parity. Another possibility is the same situation with a Red Bull team that is satellite in name only.

Also, there could be a Third Repsol Bike, with Honda covering the cost.

Last, it is still possible that Dani does not sign. That would solve the problem, as well.

It's gonna be hard to imagine Dani not resigning with Honda. Clearly it is one of the best bikes on the grid reliability and performance wise. The only logical upgrade for Dani is the factory seat at Yamaha soon to be vacated by Vale. However, I don't foresee Yamaha signing a big name rider like Dani who still has yet to win more than a couple races a year when they have the potential all star in Ben Spies. Spies not only brings youth, but also the American marketing that Yamaha has been losing out on ever since Hayden erupted in GP. He also arguably has the potential to become a top 4-5 rider given his recent performances on outdated machinery. Imagine Spies on more familiar tracks with a factory Yamaha machine? Yikes! Therefore I honestly don't see Pedrosa going anywhere else where he would be put on less competitive machinery.
On a side note, I truly hope Honda does not force Dovi to take a satellite ride. As nice as it would be to see another satellite Honda (along with RdP) be extremely competitive with other factory riders, it just disgusts me, as a Honda fan and rider, to see them treat riders this way after they signed the contract.

How do we know there is such a 'top 5 by Brno' clause or whatever the hell it supposedly is? These contracts are not floating around in the ethernet for all to see. I doubt things are nearly as clear cut as some commentators suggest. With the four big boys coming off contract at the end of 2010 would Honda really commit themselves to a deal with a no.2 rider guaranteeing a seat 2011? Chasing Stoner has been in the pipeline for a while afterall. I expected better from Dovi this year. He's still a step down from the Aliens and he knows it. But good luck to him, he has ridden well this year. He is the victim of circumstances, but you make your own luck in this game to a large degree.