MotoGP: Marquez Joins Pedrosa on Honda

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MotoGP Contract News

As expected, Repsol Honda has hired 125cc Champion Marc Marquez for the 2013/2014 MotoGP Championships.

The Spaniard joins his fellow countryman Dani Pedrosa, who has re-signed with Repsol Honda for the following two years.

Marquez’s move arrives after the Grand Prix Commission scrapped the “Rookie Rule.” Up to this year, a rookie rider entering the MotoGP class could only compete on satellite teams, not factory teams (think Ben Spies riding in his first year in 2010 aboard the Monster Tech 3 satellite Yamaha team before signing with Yamaha Factory Racing in 2011).

This changed arrived after the MSMA (Motorcycle Sports Manufacturers Association), Dorna Sports (the governing body of MotoGP), and many satellite teams all put forward a joint proposal to the Grand Prix Commission, which scrapped the rule.

Marquez, who will make his debut on the factory team at just 20 years old, will replace the the 26-year-old Casey Stoner, who announced his retirement at the end of the 2012 MotoGP Championship. Following Stoner’s retirement, many assumed Ducati Team’s Valentino Rossi would join the factory Honda team. But following recent talks with chairman of Audi, the company that recently purchased Ducati, Rossi will likely re-sign with Ducati for another two years following this season.

As for Marquez, following his 125cc title, he earned runner up in the debut year of Moto2 (championship won by Stefan Bradl), and is currently leading the Moto2 Championship by 43 points after eight of 18 rounds.

Marc Marquez says: “To reach MotoGP next season with HRC is a dream come true. I want to thank HRC for their confidence in me. I am very proud to be part of the big Honda family for the future and I don’t want to forget all people have helped me since I began to ride in 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.”

Marquez will join Pedrosa, who took his first win of the 2012 MotoGP Championship at Sachsenring last weekend. Pedrosa re-signs with the same team he has raced with since his debut in World Championship competition in 2001.

Pedrosa is a three time World Champion (2003 in 125cc, 2004 and 2005 in 250cc) and made his debut in MotoGP in 2006, claiming the Rookie of the Year title and fifth position in the Championship. He has been runner up twice and has also finished third in the premier class on two occasions.

Dani Pedrosa says: “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 on 125cc, then in 250 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.”

Shuhei Nakamoto (HRC team principal) says: “We are very pleased to renew our contract with Dani and welcome Marc Marquez 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 125 and Moto2, and we believe that, giving him the right time to adapt to the new class, he will also be able to show his talent in MotoGP in the future.”