Honda Signs Pedrosa And Dovizioso, Lorenzo Out, Seven Bikes Possible For 2010

Any illusions that Jorge Lorenzo may have cherished that he could still use his talks with Honda as leverage in his negotiations with Yamaha have now finally gone out of the window. At Brno, HRC boss Tetsuo Suzuki gave a press conference to announce that Honda had signed both Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso to new contracts with the factory team. 

The two-year deals for both Dovizioso and Pedrosa mean that there is no room for Lorenzo at Honda, a fact confirmed by Tetsuo Suzuki. The HRC president confirmed that Honda had had talks with Jorge Lorenzo, but that they hadn't been able to conclude a deal with the Spanish star. Any suggestion that Honda could lay on a third full factory bike for Lorenzo were rejected as "impossible" by the HRC boss. No reference was made to the Repsol sponsorship deal, which is expected to be concluded at the end of this weekend, although he did confirm that there would not be any budget cuts at HRC next year.

In addition to the deals with Pedrosa and Dovzioso, Tetsuo Suzuki covered a number of other subjects. One of the most interesting was that HRC are studying the option of fielding a 7th bike next season (presumably as a result of pressure from Dorna), one up from their current quota of 6. This fuels speculation that Honda will find a way to run Hiroshi Aoyama in MotoGP next year. Having the current 250cc championship leader on a MotoGP bike would see a Japanese rider back in the championship, something believed to be key to the Japanese factories. 

Suzuki-san also had interesting news to add on Marco Simoncelli. The HRC boss insisted that Simoncelli's contract is with Gresini and not HRC, as was widely reported - including here - at the time of Simoncelli's signing. As for the level of support Simoncelli would support, Suzuki-san told reporters that the Italian would be riding a satellite bike, but that HRC's aim was to ensure that the satellite bikes were not very far off the factory-spec machines. The HRC boss implied that Simoncelli's bike would be very similar to those of Dovizoso and Pedrosa, and would "take into account his [Simoncelli's] desire to do well."

When asked about Moto1 or the future of Alberto Puig inside HRC, Tetsuo Suzuki refused to comment. 

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So there will only be 2 factory honda's on the grid next year??

That or HRC wanna give the bike to melandri...

There will be two full factory Hondas, both in the Repsol Honda team. Melandri (probably) will get the factory-spec machine which Gresini runs. But there's a subtle difference. The machine that Gresini uses is not the same spec as those of the Repsol Honda team, but very close. That would not be good enough for a deal with Lorenzo.

i heard earlier this season gresini were getting for elias' bike the parts that hrc didn't want for their full factory bikes due to not being able to afford them, is this true?

if it is it kind of makes some of the criticism levelled at elias a little unfair

As far as I know Elias was forced to use/test parts that the factory riders rejected, because they were worried about lack of performance while fighting for the championship, but not because they couldn't afford them