Honda has denied putting pressure on Dani Pedrosa to swallow a massive pay cut to keep his prized seat alongside Marc Marquez in 2015.
It has been rumoured that HRC is only willing to offer the Spaniard a new two-year deal if he accepts a significantly reduced pay deal.
HRC and Pedrosa are publicly at least declaring their intention to remain together for what would be a 10th season in 2015, even though the 28-year-old has never won a premier class title.
Asked by MCN if Pedrosa had been told he could keep his RC213V ride on for a substantially reduced fee, HRC boss Livio Suppo told MCN: “That is gossip. The reality is that we believe the best team possible is to keep Dani on board. He’s said Honda is his first priority and he is the same for us. He still remains one of the top guys and I don’t think it is possible to find somebody stronger than Dani at the moment. Dani hasn’t won a title but he has always fought for it and won races. Honestly I don’t see him going downhill or in the second part of his career. My feeling from speaking with Dani is that his priority is to stay with Honda.”
During a media debrief at a one-day test post race test in Catalunya earlier this week, HRC boss Shuhei Nakamoto spoke again of his desire to see Pedrosa remain on a factory RC213V again next season.
The Spaniard has been linked with Suzuki but Nakamoto said: “Our priority is to keep Dani and agreement must come before Silverstone.”
Pedrosa came close to stopping Marquez’s phenomenal domination in 2014 last weekend when he fought down to the last lap in a sensational Catalunya race.