Assen MotoGP: Marco Simoncelli to confirm Honda deal

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Marco Simoncelli is expected to officially confirm he has signed a Honda deal for next year’s MotoGP world championship in Assen this week.

The reigning world 250GP champion has signed a contract directly with HRC in Japan but he will make his premier class debut in 2010 for the satellite Gresini squad.

Simoncelli had denied signing a Honda deal at the last round in Catalunya, with his manager Carlo Pernat insisting that talks were still on-going with Yamaha. But MCN understands a deal has been finalised with HRC and is likely to be announced in Holland.

There are several rumours surfacing about who could partner Simoncelli next season, with Gresini likely to offload both Toni Elias and Alex de Angelis.

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.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt