Stoner, Pedrosa and Dovizioso together at Honda

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After months of political wrangling, the saga surrounding Honda’s factory plans for 2011 finally unravelled in Valencia today with the Japanese factory confirming that Casey Stoner, Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso will all ride together in the Repsol squad.

The announcement coincided with Repsol confirming that it will continue its sponsorship deal with HRC for another two seasons.

It is the first time since 1995 that Honda has run a three-rider factory squad when Aussie legend Mick Doohan, Alex Criville and Shinichi Ito raced in Repsol colours.

HRC has been forced to run a three-rider team after signing Aussie Stoner earlier in the season.

Honda tried to field a three-rider factory effort with extra sponsorship to fund the ‘super team’, though talks with energy drink giant Red Bull petered out.

Italian Dovizioso then insisted HRC honour an agreement that ensured he would remain in the factory team if he was lying fifth in the championship standings at the end of July.

Tetsuo Suzuki, HRC president, said: “We are delighted to announce that our valued partners at Repsol will once again join us in our quest for the MotoGP World Championship next year.

"Honda’s partnership with Repsol has been long and successful and we are very proud to be together again for this challenge into the future. We are also very pleased to expand the Repsol Honda Team to once again include three riders next year.

"Our current riders Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso will be joined by Casey Stoner in Repsol Honda colours to form a truly formidable line-up that we believe can fight for victory at every race and achieve our joint goals: recapturing all three MotoGP World Championship titles”.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt