From the Aragon GP today comes news that Dani Pedrosa has signed a two-year contract renewal with Honda, which will see the Spaniard on a factory-backed bike for the 2011 and 2012 seasons. The news has been expected for some time, so it’s hardly surprising to see HRC tap Pedrosa for another stint of racing, and Spanish sponsor Repsol is expected to be along for the ride with another one-year extension added to their sponsorship.
With Repsol footing a big portion of HRC’s factory racing effort, their desires to keep a Spanish rider on the team have always been paramount for HRC’s negotiations, with Pedrosa always fitting the bill nicely for both parties. With Dani’s future now squared away, the big question remains regarding what HRC will look like next year with Casey Stoner presumably rounding out the Repsol Honda team with Pedrosa, with Andrea Dovizioso seemingly left out to dry.
Dovi is widely rumored to have a performance-based contract stipulation that sees the Italian guaranteed a factory ride next season if he meets certain benchmarks, which rumors say he’s met. Honda has reportedly been unable to secure the funding though for a three-man team, having stating their intention to retain all three riders for next season, which may mean Dovizioso will end up at the Honda Gresini team. Although Honda may promise factory support, riders like Marco Melandri and Toni Elias say promises of that nature aren’t necessarily kept by Honda, which is likely a sticking point for Dovizioso.
It looks like we’ll have to wait a little bit longer for that shoe to drop. More news as we get it.