Stoner Signs Deal with Honda in the MotoGP

Less than an hour after Ducati and Casey Stoner have confirmed their split at the end of the 2010 MotoGP season, Honda announced the signing of the 2007 champion for their 2011 lineup. Therefore, after 4 years spent on the saddle of a Desmosedici GP bike, the Aussie will switch back to Honda for at least the 2011 campaign.

However, although signing Stoner for 2011, team boss Shuhei Nakamoto did not announce the period of time the Australian rider signed for, or who will replace in the existing lineup. Nakamoto insisted that he will try to keep both the Spaniard and his Italian teammate Andrea Dovizioso next year.

In the factory Honda squad we already have two very strong and experienced riders in Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso who are performing very well and currently hold second and third positions in the 2010 world championship,” said Nakamoto.

HRC hopes also to retain these two riders for next year - giving us what would be a truly formidable line-up. We are very pleased that Casey will join Honda again next year. Clearly he is one of the top riders in MotoGP and he will bring valuable speed and experience to our team.”

That would mean an incredible trio for Honda, although such a prospect is pretty unrealistic for 2011. From the current lineup, only Dovizioso has a contract that extends until the end of 2011 season, while Pedrosa's will run out at the end of 2010.

Even if Valentino Rossi will replace Stoner at Ducati (which is almost 100 percent agreed upon), the Italian will be replaced at Yamaha by Tech 3's new sensation Ben Spies. This leaves Pedrosa MotoGP future uncertain to say the least. Honda confirmed they will announce their definitive 2011 lineup at a later date.
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