Dani Pedrosa is to leave Repsol Honda at the end of this season, HRC have confirmed. After 18 years together in all three Grand Prix classes, including 13 in MotoGP, Honda will not be renewing his contract for 2019 onwards.
The move had been widely expected. Rumors that Pedrosa would be leaving Honda have been circulating since Alberto Puig joined Honda as head of the Repsol Honda team. Puig is believed to have wanted to replace Pedrosa from the moment he joined the team.
Where Pedrosa goes, and who will replace him, is still something of a mystery. Pedrosa and the empty Repsol Honda seat are part of a much bigger puzzle which MotoGP Silly Season has become. Later this week, we will be rounding up the latest developments and the state of play.
Below is the press release from HRC:
HRC and Dani Pedrosa to end partnership
After 18 years together across three classes in the MotoGP World Championship, HRC and Dani Pedrosa today announce that their longstanding partnership will come to an end at the end of the 2018 season, by mutual agreement.
Although their paths will diverge, HRC and Dani 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.
"Today is a sad day for me. On behalf of HRC, I want to thank Dani for all his hard and successful work, and to express our gratitude for these two decades together. We also wish him the very best of luck and success. Thanks, Dani."
"I want to thank HRC 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."