With Marc Marquez already signed up for 2015 and 2016, and Valentino Rossi on the verge of penning a new deal with Yamaha for two more years, attention is turning to Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo. Will Lorenzo want to stay with Yamaha or switch to Honda? Will Pedrosa be prepared to take a pay cut or head off to a different factory? All these are thing we will learn over the coming weeks.
Pedrosa's case is particularly interesting. Some well-informed sources are starting to report on his options for the future. According to the Spanish magazine Motociclismo, Dani Pedrosa has been offered a substantial pay cut by Honda, with base salary cut from something in the region of 6 million euros a season to 1.5 million euros, with a very generous bonus scheme for winning races and the championship.
But Suzuki have also shown in interest in Pedrosa. The Japanese factory needs a winning rider to help make their new bike fully competitive, times set by Randy de Puniet so far lagging a second or more behind the factory Hondas and Yamahas. Right now, only four riders look capable of winning – in fact, since 2008, only six riders have won, with Casey Stoner, Dani Pedrosa, Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi have taken multiple wins, Ben Spies being the anomaly with a single victory at Assen. If Suzuki want a rider with a proven track record, then Dani Pedrosa is almost their only option.