Ever since Honda proudly presented their 800cc RC212V MotoGP bike, the consensus has been that it was designed with one man in mind: Spanish rider Dani Pedrosa. The dissenters countered that was far too risky a strategy to entrust the future of HRC's MotoGP project on a single rider. Riders are, as Ronald ten Kate so poetically put it, like ships, but the teams are the harbors. No guarantees exist that a rider will stay with a single team for his entire career, and an injury can change everything. But, argued the conspiracy camp, it's different for Pedrosa: It's inconceivable that Pedrosa would part ways with his mentor Alberto Puig, and Puig has his tentacles buried deep inside the entrails of HRC. Puig and HRC are inextricably linked, and that means Pedrosa will be with Honda for as long as it pleases Puig.
But now, it seems, the impossible looks like it could come to pass: Spanish sports daily AS.com is reporting that Dani Pedrosa is seriously considering leaving Honda, after his disastrous 8th place finish at Donington Park. The paper reports that after the race, Pedrosa leveled his harshest criticism ever at Honda and HRC. Pedrosa has now failed to win for 16 races and over 12 months, his last win coming ironically at Donington Park, the site of his most recent humiliation.
Of course, Pedrosa's threats to leave could well be a tactical move, aimed at sending a missile with a message into the heart of HRC, and persuading Big Red to get serious about fixing the RC212V, and not clinging to a theory which gets disproven at every single race outing, Honda having won only 2 of the 24 races run in all classes this season, both wins coming from Andrea Dovizioso in the 250 class. Mick Doohan tried a similar tactic back in the 1990s, and had a great deal of success, gaining influence over the development process of the NSR 500. It remains to be seen whether Pedrosa will be similarly successful, but if he does decide to leave Honda, there will be no shortage of teams ready to pick him up.