When Dani Pedrosa was asked about his contract status at the pre-race press conference for the Aragon Grand Prix, he was less than forthcoming. Within a few hours, the reason was clear.Honda Racing Corporation announced that they’d signed the Spaniard to a two-year contract early Thursday evening in Spain. The deal extends his contract through 2012, which will be his seventh in the premier class with the factory team.Pedrosa is having his best year in MotoGP, with four wins, including successive victories in the last two races. Were it not for the brilliance of Jorge Lorenzo, who’s been on the podium at every race, with seven wins, Pedrosa would be the story of the year. Instead he sits 63 points behind Lorenzo with six races to run.”I’m really happy to be signing with Honda again,” Pedrosa said in a team statement. “This has been the team of my dreams since I was a kid and that’s still the same feeling I have now. We’ve had a long and successful relationship already and we believe together we can have even more success in the future. Over many years we have built up a very strong relationship and have enjoyed the successes and faced the difficulties together. We are at a good moment now and we must try to continue in this way. Our goal of course is to fight for victories every weekend and win the MotoGP world championship. I believe we have what it takes to do both of those things.”With the signing of Pedrosa, Honda now has two riders under contract, the Spaniard and Australian Casey Stoner. The fate of current Repsol Honda rider Andrea Dovizioso is unknown.What wasn’t announced was who will sponsor the works Honda team. An extension of the contract with Spanish oil giant Repsol has yet to be announced. There was some flirtation with Red Bull, but those talks seem to have cooled. The most recent name to emerge is Telefonica, the Spanish telecom company which once sponsored the Gresini Honda team and was thought to be in talks with Yamaha to sponsor their MotoGP effort.Pedrosa also said at the pre-race news conference that he’d like to keep winning, which is the only way he can pressure the unflappable Lorenzo.”Well, actually in the last races,” Indianapolis and Misano, “we did so good that we would like to keep like this anyway,” he said. “It’s very hard to beat these guys every race, but we would like to keep on our performance and we will try to work hard to weekend by weekend and try to be happy and enjoy every weekend.”
Pedrosa Re-Ups with Honda
Henny Ray Abrams | Contributing Editor
Abrams is the longest-serving contributor at Cycle News. Over the course of his 35-some years of writing and shooting photos, he’s covered events from MotoGP to the Motocross World Championship - and everything in between.