MCN’s sources believe that an announcement is imminent about Dani Pedrosa’s future in the MotoGP championship, with the Spaniard believed to have already signed a contract that will see him join the newly-formed Petronas Yamaha team on satellite machinery.
Set to announce his retirement last time out in Barcelona before an eleventh hour intervention from MotoGP bosses, the new team looks likely to take the spot of the Aspar Ducati team, who are looking increasingly likely to exit the series amid continued allegations of financial instability.
He’s also set to be joined by Franco Morbidelli as a result of turmoil within the Marc VDS Honda squad. One of Valentino Rossi’s academy riders, it could be that the Belgian team are also not on the grid next year, potentially depleting the field to 22 bikes.
The new Petronas team is likely to run factory-specification Yamaha M1s initially, with Yamaha team boss Lin Jarvis telling MCN earlier this year that the spec of machine provided to satellite teams by them simply comes down to cost.
“We have two factory riders in a factory team and they will get the focus for development in the future. Yes, we can supply a bike of equal level for another team but it is a matter of money. After that the development goes to the factory riders and when it works and if we have enough time to produce extra parts they will filter down to other riders. It also depends on finance because there are different price levels for different specs of bikes and support.”
With Pedrosa in attendance in Thursday’s press conference at this weekend’s Dutch TT, it seems likely that an announcement on the team is set to come in the next twenty-four hours.