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Fast MotoGP News: Pedrosa Confirmed at HRC, Lorenzo Visits Ferrari, Bradl Ponders Moto2

Good news for both Honda Racing Corporation and Dani Pedrosa and his fans: the Spaniard has inked a new deal with Repsol Honda, so he will be at the helm of the winged bike though the end of the 2016 season. This is a truly spectacular, though expected move, as Pedrosa has never strayed from the first team with which he raced in the World Championship.
Dani Pedrosa happy after a 2-year contract renewal with HRC 1 photo
Since his first GP presence in 2001, Dani Pedrosa and Honda have developed a special relationship which turned out three world titles, one in the 125cc class and two in the 250cc class. In 2006 Pedrosa stepped up to start a MotoGP racer career and since then he added 25 victories, 35 second positions and 30 3rd positions, 27 poles and 40 race fastest laps. In fact Pedrosa’s lap times are still standing as reference records around multiple circuits in the GP, and he is known to be one of the premier class riders with the most extreme leaning angles.

Pedrosa is currently sharing the second position in the world standing with Valentino Rossi, both with 128 points, but the Italian has the upper hand thanks to better placements.

Shuhei Nakamoto, HRC Executive Vice President
“We are very pleased to renew our contract with Dani. He is enjoying a very strong season and is currently tied with Rossi in the Championship, we are very happy with his performance. The partnership of Dani and Marc (Marquez) has proven to be successful and we look forward to another two years of success.”
Dani Pedrosa
“I'm very happy to be able to announce my renewal with the Repsol Honda Team, and grateful to Honda for the trust they have shown in me for a further two years. It’s the best way for me to continue in my racing career, together with the company I was with in my very first race. I am very excited to give my 100% and continue to work together with everyone at Honda Racing Corporation.”

German Rider Stefan Bradl, currently piloting a LCR Honda satellite bike, number 8 in the world standing says he is indeed considering “dropping back to Moto2” in case he will not be offered a MotoGP contract he would find suitable.

Bradl has proven his riding skills winning the 2011 Moto2 championship and taking the step up to the premier class, but with rather modest performance. He was only able to step on the podium once all this time, and paddock winds say that LCR Honda may not prepare a RC213V bike for him in 2015. Honda official Livio Suppo did not mention the hiatus, but said that both Bradl and Bautista’s seats are far from being confirmed with the HRC satellite teams.

However, Bradl and LCR boss Lucio Checchinello have both expressed their hopes for continuing to work together and hopefully HRC agrees with them, too. Bradl knows he might not have a contract renewal with LCR and says that he’s quite fine with a Moto2 ride: ”I would certainly prefer it if I could stay in MotoGP. But if there isn’t an attractive offer, but a lucrative offer from the Moto2 class, with a good team, with a good package and a competitive bike, preferably with a Kalex, then I will listen. My priority is to stay with Honda and LCR. But if I cannot get top material in MotoGP I have to consider going back to Moto2 for one year. (Mika) Kallio has gone back from MotoGP and is winning, Toni Elias won the Moto2 title in his first year in the class after returning from MotoGP.”

Suzuki and Pramac Ducati are also eyeing Stefan Bradl, but no decisive moves have been rumored. Since Ducati is owned by Audi, having a German aboard one of the bikes is definitely one of the things Audi officials are considering, but nationality is definitely not the major deciding factor.

At the time of writing, the 2-time MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo is the only rider in the top 4 whose contract is still being negotiated. We may think that things are going the right way, as the Cobra took a free day and travelled to Maranello, Italy to visit the Ferrari factory. Whether he needed a closer look at these supercars prior to getting a new one or just chilling before this Sunday’s race at Sachsenring in Germany, Lorenzo agreed to do a short interview for Ferrari.

He spoke about his GT racing experience in the 24 hour race at Montmelo (Barcelona) but said he would not even try to switch permanently to 4-wheel racing. Having a great team mate such as Valentino Rossi is already a huge challenge which requires a lot of practice and exercise, Lorenzo added.

Also, make sure you follow the link for an interesting autoevolution cover story on the Top 10 Salaries in MotoGP.

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