Now Official: Pedrosa And Marquez To Form Repsol Honda Line Up For '13 And '14

HRC has today confirmed news that has been expected for several weeks now. Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez have both signed up to race in the Repsol Honda team for the next two seasons, 2013 and 2014. Both riders are long-time proteges of the Spanish petroleum giant Repsol, so the combination of Marquez and Pedrosa in the factory team was the logical choice. Once the Rookie Rule had been removed - at the request of the Honda satellite teams, for whom Marquez would have caused problems with crew members and sponsors - Marquez' move into the factory Honda team was inevitable. As for Pedrosa, the Spaniard has consistently won races every season he has been in MotoGP, and has been in the title race most seasons, though injury has prevented him from mounting a serious challenge.

With Marquez, Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo now all officially confirmed, half of the factory seats in MotoGP have now been officially taken. A fourth could be confirmed by Sunday night, with Cal Crutchlow expected to sign for the Factory Ducati team by the end of the weekend. The other two seats could take a little longer; Valentino Rossi is waiting until after Laguna Seca before considering his options. The second factory Yamaha seat will be depend on a number of factors, including Rossi's decision on whether to stay at Ducati or not, Ben Spies' performance in the next couple of races, and the support available from Yamaha USA.

Below is the text of the press release from Honda announcing the signing of Pedrosa and Marquez:

Dani Pedrosa and Marc Márquez to race together in Repsol Honda Team

Honda Racing Corporation is pleased to officially announce Dani Pedrosa and Marc Márquez as the two factory Honda riders for 2013 and 2014.

Pedrosa, who currently lies 2nd in the World Championship as the season reaches the halfway point, will extend his contract with Honda with whom he has raced with his debut in the World Championship in 2001. Dani is a three time World Champion (2003 in 125cc, 2004 and 2005 in 250cc) and made his debut in MotoGP in 2006, claiming the Rookie of the Year title and fifth position in the Championship. He has been runner up twice and has also finished third in the premier class on two occasions. After celebrating his maiden win of the 2012 season last weekend in Germany, Dani has shown he is certainly one of the contenders for the title in the premier class this year.

Marc Márquez, born on 17th of February 1993, will make his debut in MotoGP with the Honda factory team at just 20 years old. Already recognised as one of the biggest young talents in the World Championship, Marc has signed for two years with HRC. He was 125cc World Champion in 2010, runner up on his debut year in Moto2 class and is currently leading the Moto2 World Championship by 43 points.

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get back, get back, get back to where you once belonged...

Now I suppose everyone is waiting on Crutchlow...and of course Rossi.

We'll see how the season unfolds next year.

For me, seeing the 'kid' Stoner take on Rossi big starting in 2007 (and yes, stick to all the Rossi fans, of which there were and are legions, and for good reason, he's been amazing) helped solidify my interest in MotoGP. Not sure how it will be without him up there at the front race after race. Part of the attraction for me are the personalities, and this group of 'aliens' seemed to have some kind of unique...'chemistry'. Now there will be one less known and familiar personality.

Would like to say again: best of luck to Casey Stoner, and thanks for all the great racing thru the years.

"Once the Rookie Rule had been removed - at the request of the Honda satellite teams, for whom Marquez would have caused problems with crew members and sponsors "

Whaaaaaaa?! Satellite teams didn't want him because.. whaaaa?!

C'mon. The rule removed at the request of the biggest sponsor in a Spanish owned organization so they could have their Spanish golden boy.

Puig is probably vomiting blood at this announcement. lol

See my interview with Lucio Cecchinello on Marquez. Both Cecchinello and Gresini have their own oil sponsors, which they would have lost to have Repsol for one year. They also would have had to fire most of their staff, and then try to hire them all again after the year was up. Would have been nice short term, but caused far too many long-term complications.


While I understand the complications faced by satellite teams and sponsors alike, the timing of the change with the parties involved cries favoritism. The "rookie rule" was by no mean a success nor did it produce the expected outcome. However, I do wonder about the manner in which it was expeditiously revoked though. Do you truly believe the rule would have been removed this quickly had Stoner not announced his retirement?

I think it's more about Marquez arriving than Stoner retiring. For another rider, the rule might not have been dropped, but Marquez' exceptional talent and his backing from Repsol forced the issue. The rule was genuinely dropped at the behest of the satellite teams. However, the bigger issue is not so much Honda and Marquez, but rather the fact that there are only going to be between 10 and 12 prototypes on the grid next season. When the rule was introduced, there were 18 or 19 prototype bikes on the grid, giving rookies somewhere to go. Now, options are extremely limited.

Once the rule that limits prototypes was introduced, they had to get rid of the rookie rule, they had no real choice.

I don't agree with some of the things in MotoGP at the moment. I don't agree with limiting the amount of prototypes a factory is allowed to have on the grid. I would scrap it immediately I also don't agree with having CRT. This was an idiotic decision by Dorna and the FIM to have a CRT class within MotoGP. This is not WSB, this is MotoGP. I would scrap it immediately, and I believe Stoner would not have retired if CRT wasn't introduced. I don't mind the removal of the rookie rule, but I would have kept it if I had my way over other rules.

I believe you have that backwards. If the rule to limit the number of prototypes were to be removed, there might be 11 prototypes on the grid instead of 10. If the CRT class hadn't been added, then there would have been 13 bikes on the grid this year. The cost of prototype bikes is simply unsustainable, in this economy, and with this level of sponsorship in the sport.

The factories can make up their own minds about what is sustainable for their own company. I am pretty sure Honda and Ducati could have fielded more bikes this year, Honda especially. I am sure we could have had up to 20 prototype bikes on the grid. In my opinion, the CRT class has failed miserably.

Yamaha have a policy of only running 4 prototype bikes. They will not run any more. Honda could have run 5 this year or next, maybe. They have run 6, and that was the maximum. Ducati said that 6 was stretching their resources. That's 16 or 17 at most.

The trouble is, the teams could not afford the bikes. 3.5 million euros for a Honda, 2.5 for a Ducati? Given that the teams get most of their money from Dorna, that would amount to Dorna subsidizing the factories to a massive degree. When lease fees were between 1 and 2 million, that was acceptable. Now that they have doubled, it is untenable.

Makes sense. Just goes to show how stupid the rule was to begin with. Bautista... straight to the factory Suzuki squad despite the rule. That should should not have been allowed. He should have been forced to a satellite team, or stayed in Moto2.

I think Puig must be a happy man. According to Marcus Hirsch's words on JLo contract with Honda vs Yamaha, Dani's place was in danger at HRC.

Now, they have two more years (i include this one as the first) to try and get the championship. Dream On?

Is this the first all Spanish rider line-up for the Repsol Honda team? I'm not a DP26 fan... but I hope he takes the 2012 motogp title. But to do so, he knows that he needs to be faster than Jorge and Stoner for the remainder of the season and score podium points when he can't beat them. Has HRC sorted their chassis and tire issues finally? Dani needs all the help he can get to pull off the upset of the century...

HRC will test a totally new bike at mugello after the race to sort tire/handling issues, take that Ducati...

For me, Pedrosa has never really looked like winning the Championship, despite winning races.

The Honda has always been a competitive bike, it's just that Pedrosa seems unable to always be in the fight for the title. Stoner proved last year that it wasn't the bike.

Honda petitioned Dorna and built the much hated 800s around him; pretty much alienating and discarding the World Champion at the time to do so - and still he couldn't win the title.

Next year will be a learning year for Marquez - after that, I would imagine him to be the faster of the two Hondas.

Were Pedrosa any other than Spanish, he would be long gone.

discarding the World Champion at the time to do so

That would be Hayden I guess.

First, no one was 'discarded'. Hayden rode the 800cc Honda for two full years. Meaning he had a good deal of time to adjust to it, and be competitive on it (one could say the same thing about Hayden at Ducati).

At this point, it is worth reviewing Hayden v Pedrosa in 2007 and 2008. Remember: same bike, one full year to adjust to it, then another full year of competition to show results.

2007: Pedrosa = 2, 3, 3, 2 (242) ; Hayden = 0, 0, 3, 8 (127)

2008: Pedrosa = 2, 5, 4, 3 (249) ; Hayden = 0, 1, 1, 6 (155)

[Wins, 2nds, 3rds, championship standing at the end of the season (points).]

So clearly Hayden was not offered another contract by Honda because after a year to adjust to the new 800cc bike, his results were still very poor compared to Pedrosa.

It's also worth reviewing Hayden in 2006: 2, 3, 5, 1 (252)

I don't think it's going out on a limb to say Hayden won in 2006 because Rossi had 3 DNFs (he finished with 247 points).

Further about 2006: Three other riders won more races than Hayden that year (Rossi 5, Capirossi 3, Melandri 3). And Pedrosa, then a rookie, won 2 (same as Hayden). Two other riders also had more 2nd place finishes than Hayden (Rossi 4, Capirossi 4).

So on-track performance indicates that Hayden was, competitively, a very weak champion. And he followed that up with 2 poor seasons. So Honda quite understandably decided not to offer him a new contract.

I hope it's not being too unkind to say Hayden has done zilch since.

Now all Hayden fans can commence rating this post with 1 star.

How many MotoGP championships does Pedbot have? Really? A champion is a champion, no matter how you try to rate it. Until Pedbot wins the MotoGP championship he will forever that competitive rider who could never get over the hump.

Honda built the 800 around Pedrosa. The geometry was totally not conducive to Hayden's stature. He even commented on it when he rode it for the first time. And, if you remember, the second season of the 800cc era Hayden developed the pneumatic valve engine. He had quite a few mechanical dnfs that season.

Do you realize that Pedrosa has been on a Honda for 6 years now? He has won exactly 0 (that's ZERO) championships. Hayden won his in his 3rd season in MotoGP, despite Pedrosa making bonehead moves that cost him points.

Yes, I am a Hayden fan. ( in case it wasn't obvious )

Hayden won the 2006 WC, not only because Valentino had 3 DNF, but also because Valentino, who made pole on the final race, fell.

The championship was almost in the bag when Dani made that "perfect manouvre" in Estoril and took hayden and him to the ground. But, we never know what's going to happen, that's the beauty of it...

All good points and I can even admit that, even being a Hayden fan and follower.... however DNF's and whatever else you come up boils down to nothing but Rossi choking when he could have taken it from Hayden... the "very weak" champion of 06' stood tall and found the inner strength even after his team mate took him out in the race before... his "stats" may not have been stereotypical of a dominating championship season - but his character and his passion for his sport was proven when he did what was needed to win.... is that not the definition of a true champion??!!

that first RCV 800 was made for a midget. If I recall it was reported that when Hayden was first shown the bike he thought someone was pulling a practical joke on him. He just could not fit on the bike at all and had to ride a bike tailor made for Pedrosa. I would think there might have been all sorts of ergonomic and weight balance problems for him to deal with. I'm not a over and above Hayden fan but am one. He's done a great job in GP's despite never really being the #1 rider for any factory and having to ride whatever bike was developed for the other side of the garage.

As a huge Nicky fan, it pains me to state that everything you posted is 100% true. Even I'll admit that it does seem like an outlier when looking at his title and his other stats.

That said, I wonder if people like Gibernau and Biaggi would trade all but 2 of their race wins to have a single world title.

Biaggi, Gibernau, Checa, Barros, Melandri, Capirossi race winners, not WC's

When the bike is fucking built around you in the first place.

Rossi had DNF's huh? Well, to finish first you must first finish. He crashed out of the last race, and the championship, all by his lonesome. He didn't have to be torpedoed by his teammate either.

Now all Hayden fans can commence rating this post with 5 stars.

Though I think a title is a title, no matter how you win it (unless you cheat), here's another fun fact about 2006:

Troy Bayliss, who replaced Sete for the last race and won, had more laps in the lead in that race, than Hayden had that season in total.

But regarding #46's DNFs and whatnot, the old saying - "to finish first, you must first finish" - is rather suitable. Hayden/HRC had a better package that season, nothing more to it than that.

So, here we are people, the point here is than all riders must make points for become champion, once that is fullfilled then that rider can join to that elite, Hayden inst a point maker like pedrosa but he do the neccesary for become champion and it was succesfull, people will remember champions, not bots than able to make points but unable to get the crown.

Pedrosa on the contrary tends to do More points, yeah, he likes to do points but in the most important part he falls, or hes is unable to fight back or tend to say the famous quote,
"In the next year ill fight again to be champion", someone say than Stoner moans about something, then Pedrosa is more moaner than stoner. but hey, Stoner even moaning and being criticized than The bike, etc, but he kicked Danis butt and become champion.

6 years and looks like than will become 8 years since Honda are in this weird, masochist and retarded support to a guy than inst capable to do the most important thing in competition, becoming champion, someone is still waiting for the miracle, but that will not happen soon, even polemic marquez will have to take less time than pedrosa to become champion and pedrosa will end his MotoGP experience like the rider capable to generate more points but without being champion of the leader class.

During the 80's & most of the 90's, Grand Prix motorcycle racing was the domain of American, Australian & to a degree Italian riders. Well not all but most of the good ones who later became champions.

I can't remember the exact year, could've been 97 or 98 when Criville battled Doohan at Jerez or Catalunya. The fans went crazy and on the last lap, stormed the track. I'd never seen anything like it. It seemed as if this sport, Grand Prix Motorcycle racing was even bigger than football. I wondered why then, they only had this one rider (well Checa and Gibernau were racing too but weren't really challenging.)

Fast forward 15 or so years and they're dominating the world. Not only the sport we love, but the biggest game of all. Something's happened at grass roots level where they're identifying talent and nurturing it to its full potential.

Love or hate Repsol, they've put in more than their fair share. No title sposnor has been around this long in recent times. Yes, they pull more strings than Honda probably would want to admit but until somebody else comes in and supports GP racing like they do, its best we sit back & enjoy watching Spain rule the world.

I'd hate to see too much expected of MM too soon.

Also, Has Ducati said they are looking at Cal? or is it something he put out there to stimulate Yamaha? Lots of $$$ involved.

It's good that all the Silly of next Season is about to be completely settled, cause I can't wait for all the new blood and loudmouths to put up or shut up; with Stoner leaving, it will be a Lorenzo domination if all these moving riders can't ride as good as their hype.

Except maybe Rossi back on an M1...

So does this mean Shoie will offer a Marquez replica....finally. I need a new lid and since he's moved to the big boy class I hope they come out with one.

On topic, I wonder if we'll see a wall erected in the Repsol camp at one point next year? After being beat by Casey in the first year he was on the bike, dani has to be feeling a little pressure now to get that championship. I for one hope he does next year. He's had such bad luck with injuries over his GP career, he's due one good complete season.

I can't find them on their site. I must be over looking them. I'll look again but if you could provide a link that would be great! Thanks

Ok, did a google search. Don't know why I couldn't find one on their site. It might be due to me being in the us and that's the site I choose. Oh well, thanks for e info and I'll be ordering one!

and if we didn't already all know the tune to the Spanish national anthem by heart get ready to think of it as the closing credit music to MotoGP every Sunday. Has there ever been a season in GP's where every race was won by one nationality?

Same could be said about early 90's GP500. USA

Don't think any one nationality has ever won every GP in the same year. Could be the case next year if Ducati don't produce a compitive package from the word go.

OK, Pedrosa has his ride. With Marquez being the rookie, Dani's the #1 rider. Which means 2013 is the year Dani takes the championship. Guaranteed. Absolutely guaranteed. Better bloody well be absolutely guaranteed. After all, Honda makes the best bikes (just ask them) and Dani's an alien, so it bloody well better be a lock.

Just like 2007. Oops.

The one little number that won't go away: Hayden 1, Pedrosa 0. And all the equivocating, excusing, explaining and 'woulda, coulda, shoulda' in the world ain't gonna change that. And Dani's the only alien to never take a championship. And Nicky's the only non-alien (since the term was coined) to take one.

Marc earned his stripes through the classes and deserved the nod. Crashed a lot in 125 previously and 600 last year. I don't think HRC expect him to set GP2013 alight either,nor stick it to Dani.
It was just one very astute double signing in terms of experience,age and potential.
Forget about a wall between these two. They,Repsol and HRC will feed each other. Marc will get the brief about protecting his team mate out for sure.
And yes. I'm really pleased for Dani. He's earned it. No GP senior title and apart from Stoner at HRC no other racer was close to him within that team after he joined and served out his rookie 990 season back in 2006.

Now let's see if Marc torpedoes Dani in his first season out of over-exuberance while Dani's trying to finish his career with at least one championship title. Karma anyone?

Alternatively, you could argue that Hayden was the best in a competitive year. Hayden fought off not one title challenger, not two title challengers, but three other title challengers. In one of the toughest fought seasons in recent GP's, Hayden came out on top.

I do agree though, cutting him from Honda after 08 was probably a good idea since he didn't adapt well enough to the 800 to be a title threat, something generally required for factory teams.

Also, Pedrosas was a serious title threat in 2008 before his sachaenring accident. Was still a threat last year before le mans too. Sure though, he never challenged till Valencia.

To think that Honda said something to the effect of "We won't have TWO Spanish riders on the factory team."

Well at least Honda got their way for once ;)

It's old news saying that Hayden only won the title because Rossi had bad luck. If that was the case, why didn't pedrosa or any other number of riders take advantage of said "bad luck"? Also, keep in mind that Hayden was team mates to both Biaggi and Barros, vets who were also not able to do much with the factory bike. IMO there were times when the satellite bikes were better than the Repsol bikes.

I grant you that Hayden most likely could have got a ride on a satellite Honda or Yamaha. Maybe even a 2nd Suzuki. Wins would have been out if the question but perhaps more podium. For sure less frustration.

But records are records. For now Dani is one of the elite aliens. Very fast but not a champion. Nicky is a Champion but not much of a threat to most riders. But I think it is unfair to attack Hayden for doing better than 90% of the MGP field. So many have come and gone an attained so much less.

A championship is a championship. There is no such thing as a 'weak' championship. And if you really wanna argue that, it can just as easily be argued the other way. That was a 'strong' championship. Despite being torpedoed by MiniPed, despite 7 riders taking wins throughout the season, despite Rossi making a late season charge, Hayden toughed it out and made it happen.

Championships take more than just a talented rider on a great bike. It's also about timing. Luck, if you wanna call it that. The timing was right for Nicky. And then he got screwed by Honda (you could argue Repsol) with the tailored for Pedrosa 800. Yes, his results in 07 and 08 were abismal, but there was no hope of him competing on that bike. And yet, Pedrosa, with every advantage in the world, couldn't pull it together.

I'm willing to go on record saying the timing will NEVER be right for Pedrosa. You wanna talk about the biggest fail in MotoGP history? It's the little RoboSpaniard.

It's going to be a frustrating couple of seasons, at least, for fans of Honda and/or Spain.

Just for the record, none of the riders, Dani included, liked the 800 honda came out with that year. Despite that, Dani managed to win a couple races.

Championships. One isn't better than the other. It requires things to go right for most of the year and each one is special. Considering that Hayden has his name next to only 25 guys in the entire history of GP racing. I think that says enough.

Rossi bad luck 2006 ? Capirossi 2006. Now that was bad luck ! Catalunya.
Anyway,I do hope Rossi engineers a return to factory Yamaha. Clearly he's not going to put one over Capirossi as a Ducati rider.
It just might be a convenient swap for both teams. Ben in red alongside Cal and George/Vale revisited ?
Clearly Nick is not part of the equation within either team. Ben in red ?
Laguna/Rossi signing ? As like 2010, in spite of the intrigue and milking the minute, Rossi and Ducati are probably a 2013/14 deal alongside Calvin.
Signatures signed and walls being built by the minute post the anticipated announcement.

Between the pay cut and the more competitive teammate, there is no chance whatsoever that Rossi would join a team with Jorge Lorenzo. And no way that Yamaha willingly would re-create that contentious paddock situation. The Doctor just isn't *that* desperate to flee the Ducati, in my view, nor is Yamaha at all desperate to have him.

Did Hayden burn bridges at Honda, or was he more collateral damage in the placing of all resources behind Pedrosa? Curious if there's a door to be opened at any point there ...

2006 should have been Capirossi's year to win the WC. He was looking really good on the Ducati. What a shame.

This more or less seals it. I don't think either Pedrosa or Marquez is good enough to beat Lorenzo to a championship.

It's a shame that three of the top seats in MotoGP are now an all-Spanish lockout. I hope some of the Aussie talent can move up through the ranks from Moto2 and Moto3 in a fairly prompt fashion. I don't think people realise the big audience and awareness that MotoGP has in Australia thanks to the efforts of Stoner, Doohan, Gardiner. It gets big TV and news coverage. We might be a small country in terms of population but the average person on the street here would know a lot more about who's who in MotoGP than the average person in Britain or the US. So it's important to bring up an Aussie rider.