Dani Pedrosa Signs For Two More Years With Repsol Honda

As expected, Dani Pedrosa has signed on for another two years with HRC, and will remain in the factory Repsol Honda team until the end of 2016. Reports from Spain suggested that a deal was close to completion at Assen, and the details have now been finalized. The deal means that the Repsol Honda team will remain unchanged for a further two years, with Pedrosa lining up alongside 2013 world champion Marc Marquez until the end of the 2016 season.

The deal between Pedrosa and Honda had taken a little while to complete, with Pedrosa briefly flirting with Suzuki, who are set to make a return to MotoGP in 2015. That flirtation was never completely serious, and given the salary Pedrosa was rumored to be demanding to ride for Suzuki - said to be 8 million euros - Pedrosa was not keen to leave Honda. Staying at Honda does come at a price, however. Rumors in the Spanish media suggest that Pedrosa was forced to take a cut in base salary, with compensation coming in the form of performance-based bonuses. The veracity of such claims is hard to test, as HRC did not disclose any of the details of the contract with Pedrosa. Keeping salaries secret is common practice in MotoGP, teams and factories fearing it could unleash a bidding war.

Pedrosa's signing means that both factory Honda and one factory Yamaha seat are now fixed for the next two season. Pedrosa and Marquez will continue at Repsol Honda, while Valentino Rossi will stay at Movistar Yamaha. That leaves Jorge Lorenzo with fewer options than before, making a contract extension with Yamaha look more likely. Lorenzo's only other option would be the factory Ducati team, but that is a big gamble at the moment.

If Lorenzo stays at Yamaha, then that would lock up the four top bikes until 2017, making it hard for some young riders to progress. Riders such as Scott Redding and Stefan Bradl are left on satellite rides, and if Maverick Vinales enters MotoGP in 2016, he too will have to wait a year for a factory ride. That opens up a fierce battle for the top bikes in 2017, when the top riders from Moto3 - Alex Rins, Alex Marquez, Jack Miller, Romano Fenati - all head for the premier class.

With Pedrosa, Marquez and Rossi signed, and Lorenzo looking likely to remain, that leaves the factory Ducati riders next in line for renewal. Cal Crutchlow has to make a decision by the end of the month whether he will stay with Ducati, or try his luck at Suzuki. Andrea Dovizioso has a similar decision to make, though he appears to be more inclined to remain with Ducati than to take a risk. Suzuki are dependent in part on what happens at Ducati. If one of the two factory riders at Ducati don't jump ship to Suzuki, then Pramac rider Andrea Iannone will be high on their priority list, as will Forward Yamaha's Aleix Espargaro. Talks will continue at the Sachsenring, with more news likely to emerge either after Germany, or before the season resumes at Indianapolis in early August.

The press release from Honda appears below.

Honda Racing Corporation sign with Pedrosa until 2016

Honda Racing Corporation is pleased to officially announce an agreement has been reached with Dani Pedrosa that will see the Spanish rider remain in the factory Honda team for a further two years, until the end of 2016.

Dani, who currently lies third in the World Championship – level on points with second place Rossi – 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 in the Repsol Honda Team, claiming the Rookie of the Year title and fifth position in the Championship. He has been both runner up and third in the premier class on six occasions (three each).

Dani Pedrosa World Championship Statistics:

Starts: 141
Podiums: 90 (25 x 1st, 35 x 2nd 30 x 3rd)
Poles: 27
Fastest Race Laps: 40
Best World Championship positions: 2nd (2012, 2010, 2007), 3rd (2013, 2009, 2008)

Starts: 32
Podiums: 24 (15 x 1st, 8 x 2nd, 1 x 3rd)
Poles: 9
Fastest Race Laps: 15
World Champion: 2005, 2004

Starts: 46
Podiums: 17 (8 x 1st, 4 x 2nd, 5 x 3rd)
Poles: 9
Fastest Race Laps: 5
World Champion: 2003

Shuhei Nakamoto
HRC Executive Vice President

“We are very pleased to renew our contract with Dani. He is enjoying a very strong season and is currently tied with Rossi in the Championship, we are very happy with his performance. The partnership of Dani and Marc has proven to be successful and we look forward to another two years of success”

Dani Pedrosa

"I'm very happy to be able to announce my renewal with the Repsol Honda Team, and grateful to Honda for the trust they have shown in me for for a further two years. It’s the best way for me to continue in my racing career, together with the company I was with in my very first race. I am very excited to give my 100% and continue to work together with everyone at Honda Racing Corporation”

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I don't dislike Dani, but...

I would much rather have seen another young talent put on that ride. The problem is that Honda doesn't really have another up and comer quite ready yet.

Scott Redding comes to mind, but it's too soon to gauge his full potential. Bradl is looking 'just average' and there isn't much else out there associated with Honda..

I'm sure Dani signed for peanuts (relatively speaking) and will make a fine #2 to 'that kid' :)

He seems he's growing more like his compatriot. Writing checks with his mouth that he can't cash. He needs to reel in the talk and start producing. So far he's not.

I feel sorry for Dany that he isn't riding for my beloved Yamaha the next two years ;-)

A move to Ducati by Jorge Lorenzo would be a welcome jolt to the system. Not likely to happen, but I'd love to see it just to shake things up. A new engine, more compact and lighter, for 2015. A new chassis optimized for the new motor for 2015. All bikes running championship software in 2016. The end of draconian fuel limits in 2016. And of course the new tires in 2016. Delicious.

I'm not surprised Dani and Honda Repsol are going to continue together next year. I am a little surprised that it's a 2-year deal. (Of course, for all I know Honda wanted a one-year contract and Dani's people were able to use his other offers to say "two years or nothing" in negotiations.)

Julian Ryder tweeted about HRC signing Dani was predictable but HRC might have some surprises when it comes to their satellite teams. There's been rumblings...but maybe they will indeed drop Bradl/Bautista for new blood?

David mentioned HRC wants a competetive rider if Marquez gets injured, that's reasonable. But in just about any sport, the top paying team can make demands of its players to get a championship in but a few years or they're out. I think Pedrosa's had his chance. He is not a fan favorite, and I presume does not sell much merchandise. They should have offered it to Lorenzo at a low price, he'd be a fool to not take it, it's his only chance to beat Marquez.

It's a good move by Honda. Dani won't challenge Marquez for wins, but if Marc gets hurt, Dani may be able to secure the championship for them. He's the perfect #2 rider.

I disagree with your assertion that he is not a fan favourite. I am in Australia, so can't speak from geographical experience, but from anecdotal experience over the last ten years (his career in GP) I think the Spanish are pretty keen on Dani. I like him, and always have. There's a percentage of American fans who can't get over his 2006 incident with Hayden, but even there there's people coming around based solely on his never say die attitude and his talent.

Pedrosa has a title in him. Only a fool would write him off as a bona fide challenger as long as he's on a Repsol Honda.

This contract renewal is Pedrosa's last chance on a top bike and by giving him a performance based contract it's Honda way of cheaply filling their number 2 seat with a good but uninspiring rider.

In 2017, I would imagine Marquez junior will have completed his second year on a moto2 bike and will be ready for the big move to Repsol. If he is as good as Marc, Alex will form a formidable dream team.

The problem Motogp has is there are more riders than are good rides available and the teams can drive now wages by introducing performance based contracts. I see some big names on factory bikes leaving the series at end of 2017.

HRC held all the cards, Dani is sure to be pleased. Lorenzo isn't going anywhere and is also looking at a pay cut.

And next...
Musical chairs focus now: A. Espargaro and Crutchlow readying a landing. Again, this is a 'hunker down and wait' period w all the rule and bike changes in process. Crutchlow likely to stay. A.Esp to Suzuki, or Tech 3? I would go w Herve. Aleix loves to work w his brother and their relationship is a priority for him. Seems like a win and good fit for everyone involved...except Smith.

We could he surprised by who ends up on that Suzuki, and I agree that Beautista is done w Honda. Bradl? Harder to say...seems time for a change there, that is the most desireable ride left in my book! I see Bautista back at Suzuki, he has a relationship and will not have much for options. Cal stays at Ducati. Ducati must be in a quandry re the second factory seat between Iannone and Cal.

I was short sighted in over estimating what Forward was going to be able to get oit of their package w Open rules this yr. The dramatic deficit in power still leaves me stumped. The issue of electronics however, this is interesting. The 6th iteration of championship electronics/software is capable of MUCH MUCH more than it is producing now. SO...is it possible that the Open Yamaha and Honda are about to make a big jump forward? Same for Hernandez's bike. We know it is all but certain that 2016 holds a big shake up, but next yr is still carrying many question marks.

Hernandez - done, right? Even being the lone S American can't carry him now unless I see it poorly. Could be a decent ride for someone coming up for a yr, easy results to best, low expectations and some possibility.

ZERO news and talk about the Aprilia STILL? Hmm! Expectations cooling off there. Beautista? Obviously Espargaro has a relationship there, but he has much better options opening up. Aleix go talk to LCR or Gresini! You won't be disappointed! Redding more likely on Gresini's (unfortunately) one Factory Honda that is avail to them and LCR can't add one. From here now it is hard to see Aprilia going anywhere next yr, nor landing a solid established rider. A Moto 2 rider perhaps.

Mid pack is holding my attention. Hoping for some interesting rider placements on the two Forward seats opening up. And a solid jump fwd in electronics and power. Ducati? Fingers crossed for Gigi's bike to revolutionize their campaign.

Hayden's wrist - potential career closer? Open Prod Honda w upgraded pneumatic top end - how much gain to be had? Will this be seen soon w the top rider, and will that make for interest for some riders in time to do contracts? - The gains at Open Prod Honda are a safer bet than at Open Yamaha if you ask me, and I thought the reverse at Qatar. Didn't you?

A. Espargaro holds a pretty good hand right now. No way Aprilia, maybe Suzuki but unlikely, yes on Tech 3 and staying in the Yamaha pipeline, and would LOVE to see him at LCR.

Anyone have any news about current considerations of Avintia and their plans? Their grid slots? Collaborations?

I do not like Alberto Puig's approach to racing. He is someone who stands around in the Honda garage looking sullen. For the most part of his career Dani Pedrosa was faithful to his mentor, but Puig being given other things to do seems to have made Pedrosa's life easier. He actually smiles now, I see him bantering in parc ferme now and overall he looks relaxed and lot less fragile than he ever did. Some may say that this a long shot but my feeling is that being with Puig, while building Pedrosa's career to a point, is probably the reason why he has not won a world title yet. I am sure he was cramped and given advice on things he did not need and told to ride in a certain way which may or may not have been comfortable for him. The only shortcoming I see in Pedrosa is the lack of aggression while overtaking; something that you see so strongly in Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez. The fact that Casey Stoner was his teammate when the decline of Rossi began could have impacted adversely on Pedrosa. Stoner insisted on a certain code of riding which was endorsed by Jorge Lorenzo and that was bad news for Pedrosa who already was not aggressive enough. Now the resurgence of Rossi and the heroics of Marquez, both riders who do not believe in the political correctness and are not afraid to put strong passes on fellow riders, Pedrosa has to factor in another development. And I would say thus far he is done quite well. I will not put it past him to win a world championship in the next two years. He is world championship winning material; he just needs luck.

Pedrosa just isn't big enough physically to throw some of the more aggressive passes on late brakers like Rossi or Marquez. He can't use his body weight in the same way. Great rider with not so great luck at times.

For years I've been reading comments about how Dani can't or won't pass, isn't agressive enough, etc. etc. I don't think I've seen his stature mentioned as a failing before, though (apart from all the expert speculation prior to 2006 that he wouldn't be big enough to manhandle a MotoGP bike...)

All that is required is to make the effort to watch the 2006 MotoGP season DVD, and these myths about Dani will fall away like so much hot air... in 2006, his debut year, he was second in the second race, and won the fourth race. He won again later that season, but an injury put a stop to his title chase (and he was indeed in with a shot at the title in his debut year, and remember Stoner was also there on a bike almost comparable to Pedrosa's bike).

He raced as hard as anyone else out there in 2006, and in all subsequent years. The only thing that has stopped him from lifting the title is injury, he's copped it worse than any other top level rider. Due to his diminutive stature? Maybe. Or due to luck, as you suggest. Both Rossi and Marquez have gotten away with murder over the years as far as crashes go, Lorenzo less so. Stoner never actually really hurt himself badly until his ankle injury in 2012, but Pedrosa has really smashed himself up, almost once per season. But it's not due to crashing all the time, he's no RdP, it's just that when he has crashed it's gone pear shaped. Luck, no other factor there.

He's what, 29? He's only getting better as far as I can tell. HRC has made some bonehead moves over the years, but keeping Pedrosa was a smart call.

There was nothing wrong with Stoners bike in 2006, but as the season wore on his access to decent Michelins was severely restricted which was apparent in the results. If you weren't a factory rider you sucked the had teat in the Michelin era, one reason Stoner was happy to move to the then uncompetitive Bridgestones.

I can see why Honda have kept Dani around, but as a spectator I have to say I'm disappointed Dani will still be a part of the furniture at Honda for another two years. He's failed to take the title previously and as the firm number two there now he has sweet F all chance of being champ unless Marquez gets injured or unexpectedly retires. I'd have preferred to see a proactive move to Yamaha by Pedrosa, a combination which would have worked well IMO and demonstrated that Dani still has the fire in the belly.

That's an interesting comment - what do you think he should be doing that he isn't?
Outperforming Nicky in your rookie year isn't exactly poor. He's tipped for an HRC satellite bike as the top (possibly/probably) proddie......

I don't understand the speculation about Redding? I thought Bautista's RC213V was Scott's for 2015 anyway? Did anything change about that?

>>Redding will race the Honda production racer for the 2014 season, with the plan being that Redding will move up to ride the factory RC213V at Gresini the following year.

This is a quote from this very site: http://motomatters.com/news/2013/08/29/finally_official_redding_signs_tw...

So for Bautista, there's only two options left: Redding's proddie (if Gresini is willing to give it to him) or Suzuki. With the latter more likely imo, given the common history they share.

Dani's side, he hasn't won a race. I couldn't care about how many more times he smiles now, he's almost accepted defeat to that Kid and will be #2 until something seriously prevents #93 racing. I am no Puig Fan but maybe that nuisance was what Dani Needed to believe in himself. This wishy washy repore between him and MM is sickening considering that MM has done in 17 months what Dani has failed to do in 10 or so years.

LCR will keep Bradl. GP racing need a German presence and given the tools he has, he's not really doing such a crap job. If next year however he doesn't breakaway from the Smith/Espargoro group, questions will be asked. Gresini will likely sign Scott. Suzuki may still opt for Randy. He'll have wrapped up 100s if not 1000's of laps and may get the nod, even if just for a single year. Aleix for me would be the perfect signing for Suzuki. Desperate for a factory ride and realistically, the best of the rest, including satellite riders.

Both Ducati riders will remain put though I do feel for Crazy Joe Iannone. The fact that he didn't have a reference point (didnt race an M1 or RCV) and got straight onto the Beast of a Ducati really has proven to be a blessing. He rides that thing like he stole it everytime, a pity that DUCATI are contractually bound in the one instance and kinda want to keep their #04. I would stay on another year, even if that is on a Satellite. Ducati have promised him factory support. Going to the unkown (Suzuki) would be a bad move.

So even if the top 4 spots are taken the best of the rest is going to be interesting.

Realistically, who would HRC put in his spot?

Lorenzo? Unknown on the HRC bike, and his style is the antithesis to what is required on the honda. It would be a big gamble, and I reckon Jorge would go backwards. I suspect the HRC rumors were initiated by HRC, purely to get him to get Yamaha into a bidding war for his services, which appears to have worked.

Rossi? He's on honda's shit-list since he left.

Dovi? He couldn't beat Dani before, doubt now will be any different.

Bradl? He hasn't got the results

Bautista? Hasn't got the results

Redding? Maybe in future... but I think it's a bit too early to make that call.

Like him or not (personally I have a lot of respect for the guy) - he's one of the most successful riders Honda have had in terms of podiums. He's had a shocking run of injury, often not his fault, which have prevented him from sealing the championship.

Now... the other side of the coin - if Dani leaves HRC, there's a risk he could end up at Yamaha. The M1 is supposed to be like a big 250 to ride.

Dani did very well in the lower classes. Maybe Dani on a Yamaha could perhaps be difficult to beat for HRC? IMHO, better to have him on the HRC side where he won't be taking points off them.

Yep, well said.
You said something that was quite often heard (when Dani came to MotoGP) which is, and quoting:

»»Dani did very well in the lower classes. Maybe Dani on a Yamaha could perhaps be difficult to beat for HRC? IMHO, better to have him on the HRC side where he won't be taking points off them.««

I'm not sure how many in here followed GP250cc during the Dani Pedrosa years of dominance, but he was absolutely devastating at that (on a Honda NSR250, in a class dominated by Aprilia with an iron fist), probably like only Luca Cadalora or Sito Pons were over a decade before him (and he had been also brilliant on GP125cc).
That's why he was painted as the next "golden boy" even before stepping to the premier MotoGP class in 2006.

The thing is, the Honda/HRC tradition in the premier class has been always a strong motor over a strong chassis (if one over the other has to be chosen). The Hondas in MotoGP, as had been in GP500cc, were always more "point and shoot" style rather than smoother and faster corner speed (as in GP250cc), which has always been more the Yamaha/YRT tradition.

Dani was too small for the RCV211v 990cc in 2006 (his debut season), and the RCV212v 800cc "midget rocket", developped for his size in next seasons, was sort of a fiasco for quite a long time.

I too share the opinion that if Dani had landed on a Yamaha's factory contract back then, instead of Honda's, with his riding competence in the M1 (which would have been the bike to fit him better, riding style wise), then I strongly suspect that we would have seen a new Wayne Rainey sort of competitive rider (and riding) and those years might have been quite a bit different in MotoGP.

Yes, maybe Dani became that sort of "shoulda, woulda" rider that many will remember as the forever bridesmaid, always so consistently close but never reaching the title.
In an "all-social" era, where PR fake smiles, antics and good looks get you more fans than whatnot, Dani has been underrated, IMHO, also because his image "doesn't sell". He's been also unlucky, with crashes that affected his seasons final score more often than not (being a somewhat physically fragile rider in comparison to others).
Rossi was at Yamaha then and doing so well as their top rider, then Lorenzo after, etc, but "Dani on a Yamaha M1" is another popular "what if" thought (as many as this class have had) that, unfortunately, we will never know what could have been had it really happened.

Don't forget, he had arm pump issues at the start of the season and an operation for it.

i think the second half of the season will show us Dani's true potential this year.

As it is, he's still equal p2 in the championship. If Marc bins it and hurts himself (and due to the way he rides the bike (+/- limit), this is not out of the realm of possibility) then Dani is there to pick up the pieces.

Here is what counts... 141 MotoGP starts, 90 podiums, 25 wins.

This is big boy racing. HRC factory team. Nakamoto-san is not running a finishing school, nor are Lin Jarvis or Luigi Dall'Igna. There are exactly four riders who have established themselves as aliens, and Nakamoto now has two of them. He has his preferred #1 in Marquez. He has his preferred #2 in Pedrosa. Lorenzo was previously a target for HRC, but Marquez turned out better than expected. So Lorenzo is no longer on Honda's radar, due to both team dynamics and cost I suspect. So Pedrosa gets the contract. Job done. Bratwurst and beer.

Meanwhile, in the finishing school seats, some of yesterday's "can't-miss" young guns have lost their luster. That is why Nakamoto is more impressed by 25 wins and 90 podiums than the latest teenager with a couple of wins in the development classes. Just my $0.02.