The silly season for the factory riders is just about over: Ducati will be announcing the signing of Valentino Rossi on Sunday night at Brno with Nicky Hayden a racing certainty to follow at Indianapolis, and Yamaha likely to announce its factory team lineup of Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies immediately after the Rossi announcement. At Honda, the arrival of Casey Stoner has been officially confirmed, while Dani Pedrosa is sure to follow in the next few weeks.
But while Yamaha and Ducati are all more or less done, the Honda lineup has a few more loose ends to tie up. Stoner's contract is done and dusted, but the situation for Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso is a little more complex. As discussed previously, Dovizioso's situation is complicated by the fact that the hoped-for sponsorship deal with Red Bull never materialized, but according to a Honda spokesperson, the Italian's contract should be finalized some time around Misano. The spokesperson had no comment on which team Dovizioso would end up with.
Dani Pedrosa was similarly hopeful of a deal in the next couple of weeks. "Nothing is decided yet, but we are in a conversation, and everything is going quite well," Pedrosa said on Thursday. "So I hope soon to get some news." Pedrosa was also asked whether the capacity change due to take place for the 2012 season made signing a one-year contract a more attractive proposition. "Of course it's something you have to care about," Pedrosa replied, "but at this moment, we still don't know the details."
Pedrosa was aware of the ramifications of a change in the formula, but there was more to consider than just the rule changes. "In the end it's something important, the first year again back to 1000cc," the Spaniard replied. "Also, we have to see what possibilities we have." Pedrosa was optimistic that a deal with Honda would be reached, however: "At this moment, we have trust in both sides, and we are having good conversations."