The Repsol Honda team have confirmed that Dani Pedrosa will leave them after twelve seasons with the squad, announcing today that they would not be renewing his contract beyond the end of the current season.
The news comes as no surprise given recent rumours in the MotoGP paddock, with speculation mounting in recent weeks that Pedrosa would soon make a decision on his future including even a retirement announcement. But, speaking in the HRC statement, the Spaniard says it’s instead time for a change, igniting speculation that he could be in talks with other teams.
"I want to thank HRC for all these years of great success. I have grown not only as a rider but also as a person with them. I will always have HRC in my memories and in my heart. In life we all need new challenges and I feel it’s time for a change. Thanks, HRC."
The news also opens the market for a replacement for him at Honda, with a number of names linked to the seat in recent weeks. Italian Grand Prix winner Jorge Lorenzo remains the most high-profile free agent on the market for now, but has been closely linked to a return to Yamaha, albeit on satellite machinery.
Brit Cal Crutchlow also has potential to step up to the factory bike. Already a race winner this season, he is in first year of a two-year deal direct with HRC and not with his LCR Honda team, giving him the flexibility to step up if the option is there.