Marco Simoncelli will ride for the Gresini Honda squad in 2010, the Italian team has just announced in Assen tonight.
As expected, the reigning world 250GP champion has shunned Yamaha, Ducati and Suzuki to sign a deal with HRC that will see him on a factory-supported RC212V.
Gresini also confirmed that he signed a new deal with title sponsor San Carlo for 2010 also at a press conference in Holland.
Gresini said: “Marco has the determination and character we want from a rider as part of his DNA and we are sure we can look ahead to exciting times with him.
"Marco has shown over the past couple of years that he has the ability to be a major force in the premier class.
"We have established a good feeling with him already and that facilitated negotiations over a contract that we have signed for 2010.
"Honda also rates Simoncelli highly and believes he is a rider with great potential for the future, so Honda is very pleased that we are welcoming Simoncelli next season.”
Firm favourite for the second Gresini ride is former rider Marco Melandri, who is currently with Hayate riding a factory Kawasaki ZX-RR. Spanish 250GP rider Hector Barbera is also believed to be a target, with his manager recently announcing discussions had been taking place with Gresini for the past month.