Dani Pedrosa says that he was "more or less" convinced two years ago that he would leave Honda's MotoGP team at the end of the 2018 season.
Pedrosa has raced Honda bikes during his entire grand prix racing career, and has been a factory MotoGP rider for the Japanese brand since 2006.
He came close to becoming Jorge Lorenzo's replacement at Yamaha in 2017 but eventually stayed put, but couldn't break out from playing second-fiddle to Marc Marquez afterwards.
After a poor start to 2018 that has been hampered by injuries, Honda announced earlier this month that it will replace Pedrosa with Lorenzo.
Pedrosa said that it was also his wish to leave Honda, something he already "more or less" decided in 2016.
"More or less [it was decided], yes. Well of course two years ago is a long time ago, but it started like two years ago," he said.
“As they knew already two years ago with the previous people in the team, they knew that it was already [likely to happen]. I said to them more or less this would happen, so at the end it is a mutual thing.
“Of course you realise, especially more when it comes to the reality completely, but more or less it was already spoken before.
"It is me, myself, you need to look for new things and I think it is a good moment to start looking at what you can do next.
"It is quite simple, it is not so complicated I assume [you] try to believe."
Marquez "feels" Pedrosa will not retire
Pedrosa's future has yet to be finalised, although he appears well-placed to join the planned Petronas-backed Yamaha satellite team after confounding expectations he would announce his retirement in Barcelona.
When asked what he thinks Pedrosa will do next, his current teammate Marc Marquez felt that he will continue racing.
He said: "What I feel is that he will continue.
"To continue MotoGP with good project he has only one option and everybody knows which is this option so. But it's what I feel, I don't know."
Additional reporting by Oriol Puigdemont