Gordon Hatch, MotoGP Correspondent
Moto2 wiz to join Dani Pedrosa in all Spanish Factory Honda team in 2013 and 2014
Honda Racing Corporation has finally announced what most in the MotoGP world thought as the most plausible rider line-up for the company following Casey Stoner’s retirement announcement earlier this season. HRC have officially revealed that Marc Márquez will ride alongside fellow Spaniard Dani Pedrosa in the factory MotoGP team for 2013 and 2014.
We are very pleased to renew our contract with Dani and welcome Marc to the Repsol Honda Team.
The company made the announcement this morning (Thursday 12th July) to the world’s media with Pedrosa and Márquez appearing comfortable and very happy with the announcement following weeks of speculation after reigning World Champion Casey Stoner said he was to retire. The way was finally cleared for HRC to choose Márquez to partner Pedrosa after MotoGP series owners Dorna confirmed that its ‘Rookie Rule’ that prevented factory teams from drafting in rookies in their first year of riding in the premier class was to be scrapped from 2013 onwards.
Pedrosa currently lies second in the World Championship and claimed his first win of 2012 at the Sachsenring in Germany last weekend. The Spanish rider has once again extended his contract with Honda with whom he has raced with since his debut in World Championship motorcycle racing in 2001. He is a three-time World Champion (2003 in 125cc, 2004 and 2005 in 250cc) and joined Repsol Honda as a rookie in 2006 where he claimed 5th in the Championship and the title of Rookie of the year and has been runner up and third in the championship each on two occasions.
Márquez has been a sensation since his debut to World Championship motorcycle racing in 2008 and notched up his first title in 2010 when he won the 125cc title. The 19-year-old was runner-up in the Moto2 class behind Stefan Bradl in 2011 and is the current series leader this year by a whopping margin of 43 points! He electrified both the 125 and Moto2 Paddock since his debut and with breathtaking speed and overtaking manoeuvres.
Pedrosa was delighted with his new contract and spoke about his long relationship with his employer saying, “I'm very happy to be able to announce my renewal with the Repsol Honda Team for the next two years. It's been a very long relationship with Honda and I had a strong desire to stay here. The fight for the Championship this year is still open and the next two seasons will be very interesting for me. My whole career has been linked to Honda, since I entered into the World Championship in 125cc, then in 250cc and since 2006 in MotoGP. I'm perhaps one of the riders with the longest history with Honda, which makes me feel very proud. I want to thank HRC once again for their support; I'm sure that we have great things to do together.”
Speaking about the new challenge ahead, Marquez was thrilled to be picked to race in the factory team. He said, “To reach MotoGP next season with Repsol Honda is a dream come true and I want to thank HRC for their confidence in me. I am very proud to be a part of the big Honda family for the future and I don’t want to forget all the people have helped me since I began to ride motorbikes. Now my focus is on Moto2 where my team and I are working very hard and we are excited to achieve our goal, which is to win the World Championship in 2012.”
HRC Executive Vice-President Shuhei Nakamoto also said he was very happy with the rider line-up for the next two seasons. “We are very pleased to renew our contract with Dani and welcome Marc to the Repsol Honda Team. Dani is enjoying a very strong season and currently fighting with Casey and Lorenzo for the Championship, we are very pleased with his performance. Marc has already proved how fast he is in 125cc and Moto2, and we believe that, giving him the right time to adapt to the new class, he will also be able to show this in MotoGP in the future,” Mr Nakamoto said.