After weeks of speculation Honda Racing has confirmed that its factory team line-up for the 2013 and 2014 seasons will be the all-Spanish pairing of Dani Pedrosa and Marc Márquez.
The Red Bull-backed athletes had been touted as potential team-mates at the Repsol Honda team for some time, but the rule forbidding the entry of a MotoGP rookie directly into a factory team made the graduation of Márquez into the set-up far from straightforward.
Pedrosa is currently in his seventh season with the factory Honda team and has twice finished runner-up in the World Championship, in 2007 and 2010. He has taken 16 wins in the MotoGP class and a total of 63 podiums to date in the elite category, and is a former 125cc and double 250cc world champion. He is currently second in the standings ahead of this weekend's race at Mugello.
“I'm very happy to be able to announce my renewal with the Repsol Honda team for the next two years,” said Pedrosa in a statement. “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 very proud.
“I want to thank HRC once again for their support; I'm sure that we have great things to do together.”
The confirmation that Márquez will join HRC's factory team for the next two seasons sees one of the sport's most precocious talents step up to the top level.
Márquez, who took the 2010 125cc title, will be just 20 years old when he makes his MotoGP debut next season. He finished runner-up in the Moto2 class last year and has a 43-point lead going into this weekend's ninth round.
“To reach MotoGP next season with Repsol Honda is a dream come true and I want to thank HRC for having confidence in me,” said the 19-year-old. “I am very proud to be a part of the Honda family for the future and I don’t want to forget all the people who have helped me since I began riding 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.”