It’s official. After 18 years together across three classes in the MotoGP World Championship, Honda Racing Corporation and Dani Pedrosa have announced that their longstanding partnership will come to an end at the end of the 2018 season, by mutual agreement. Pedrosa has had a tough start to the 2018 Season and is currently 12th in the championship.
Honda Racing Corporation and Pedrosa have enjoyed a successful relationship. Since 2006, when the Spaniard joined the Repsol Honda Team, he has earned 31 victories and was runner-up in the MotoGP Championship on three occasions. Over the years, he has provided very useful information and feedback to Honda for the development of its machines, and at the same time, HRC has given him the best technology and full support on the track.
Speaking about his departure from Honda Racing Corporation, Pedrosa said, “I want to thank HRC (Honda Racing Corporation) for all these years of great success. I have grown not only as a rider but also as a person with them. I will always have HRC in my memories and in my heart. In life we all need new challenges and I feel it’s time for a change. Thanks, HRC.”
What to expect in 2019 season for both, Honda Racing Corporation and Dani Pedrosa?
While we’re yet to hear an official announcement, Pedrosa has not said anything about his retirement plans from the sport and thus we will most likely see him join a satellite team while Honda Racing Corporation will hunt for another rider who will share the garage with reigning World MotoGP Champion, Marc Marquez. Honda Racing Corporation was (reportedly) keen on signing Johann Zarco. However, the 2017 Rookie Of The Year has signed a contract with KTM for the 2019 and 2020 seasons.
Meanwhile, Ducati is not likely to extend Jorge Lorenzo’s contract and he is rumoured to ride for Petronas-backed Yamaha satellite team. However, a spot in a factory team has more perks for the rider and we wouldn’t be surprised if the Japanese team does sign the Spaniard to join Marc Marquez for 2019 and 2020. There is no official confirmation on the same.
Who will join Andrea Dovizioso as the factory Ducati team rider?
With Lorenzo’s contract set to expire at the end of 2018, the next best contender on the grid to ride for factory Ducati is Danilo Petrucci who currently competes for Pramac Ducati.
The championship is getting interesting, and so are the speculations about the changes to the grid in 2019! Stay tuned.