HRC has today confirmed news that has been expected for several weeks now. Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez have both signed up to race in the Repsol Honda team for the next two seasons, 2013 and 2014. Both riders are long-time proteges of the Spanish petroleum giant Repsol, so the combination of Marquez and Pedrosa in the factory team was the logical choice. Once the Rookie Rule had been removed - at the request of the Honda satellite teams, for whom Marquez would have caused problems with crew members and sponsors - Marquez' move into the factory Honda team was inevitable. As for Pedrosa, the Spaniard has consistently won races every season he has been in MotoGP, and has been in the title race most seasons, though injury has prevented him from mounting a serious challenge.
With Marquez, Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo now all officially confirmed, half of the factory seats in MotoGP have now been officially taken. A fourth could be confirmed by Sunday night, with Cal Crutchlow expected to sign for the Factory Ducati team by the end of the weekend. The other two seats could take a little longer; Valentino Rossi is waiting until after Laguna Seca before considering his options. The second factory Yamaha seat will be depend on a number of factors, including Rossi's decision on whether to stay at Ducati or not, Ben Spies' performance in the next couple of races, and the support available from Yamaha USA.
Below is the text of the press release from Honda announcing the signing of Pedrosa and Marquez:
Dani Pedrosa and Marc Márquez to race together in Repsol Honda Team
Honda Racing Corporation is pleased to officially announce Dani Pedrosa and Marc Márquez as the two factory Honda riders for 2013 and 2014.
Pedrosa, who currently lies 2nd in the World Championship as the season reaches the halfway point, will extend his contract with Honda with whom he has raced with his debut in the World Championship in 2001. Dani is a three time World Champion (2003 in 125cc, 2004 and 2005 in 250cc) and made his debut in MotoGP in 2006, claiming the Rookie of the Year title and fifth position in the Championship. He has been runner up twice and has also finished third in the premier class on two occasions. After celebrating his maiden win of the 2012 season last weekend in Germany, Dani has shown he is certainly one of the contenders for the title in the premier class this year.
Marc Márquez, born on 17th of February 1993, will make his debut in MotoGP with the Honda factory team at just 20 years old. Already recognised as one of the biggest young talents in the World Championship, Marc has signed for two years with HRC. He was 125cc World Champion in 2010, runner up on his debut year in Moto2 class and is currently leading the Moto2 World Championship by 43 points.