MotoGP: Updated 2011 Contract Report

MotoGP Contract News

With five rounds remaining in the 2010 MotoGP Championship, the 2011 grid is forming. Next year’s MotoGP lineup will contain a few riders on new teams, most notably nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi joining the Ducati Team.

The Italian is taking current Ducati rider Casey Stoner’s spot, and the Australian is moving to the Honda Racing Team. Next year Stoner will be teammates with Dani Pedrosa, who extended his contract with Honda until the end of 2012.

The other big change is the rookie Ben Spies moving into Rossi’s position. Under MotoGP rules, rookies must ride on a satellite team before they can graduate to a factory team. For 2011, Spies will be on the factory Yamaha, and it’s known that Lorenzo and Yamaha are happy together, but nothing has been released about Lorenzo officially re-signing with Yamaha.

As of this writing, one new rider joined the MotoGP grid: Karel Abraham, who will be competing on a Ducati for his father’s new Cardion AB MotoGP team.

As a new rider joins, one also leaves: Marco Melandri, currently competing on the San Carlo Honda Gresini team, will move to the Yamaha Sterilgarda World Superbike team in 2011.

Here’s an updated list of 2011 MotoGP Contract News (the riders not contained all have contracts with their current teams until the end of 2010):

  • Casey Stoner: Factory Honda for 2011
  • Dani Pedrosa: Factory Honda until the end of 2012
  • Valentino Rossi: Ducati Team until the end of 2012
  • Nicky Hayden: Ducati Team until the end of 2012
  • Ben Spies: Factory Yamaha until the end of 2011
  • Karel Abraham: Cardion AB MotoGP Team for 2011
  • Cal Crutchlow: Tech 3 Yamaha until the end of 2012
  • Colin Edwards: Tech 3 Yamaha until the end of 2011
  • Alvaro Bautista – Rizla Suzuki until the end of 2011