MotoGP: Pedrosa out as Lorenzo Joins Marquez at Repsol Honda in 2019
The Honda riders will collectively have seven MotoGP world championships worth of riding experience.
Current Ducati rider Jorge Lorenzo has announced that he will be leaving the Italian outfit at the end of the 2018 MotoGP season to join fellow countryman and reigning world champion Marc Marquez at Repsol Honda.
Many rumors about Lorenzo's whereabouts for 2019 had circled the internet and the MotoGP paddock for a long time, but everything seemed to quiet down a bit over the weekend when Lorenzo scored his maiden win for Ducati at Mugello. Now, it turns out that it was simply too late to change the Spaniard's mind, as a "gentleman's agreement" for a two-year contract had allegedly been struck ahead of the Italian Grand Prix, according to Autosport.
Of course, this shocking announcement about Lorenzo's signing has also affected another rider quite severely: Dani Pedrosa. The 31-year-old rider will have to vacate his seat after 13 years with the factory Honda MotoGP team, and his future is looking rather uncertain given his lackluster performance over the last few seasons—and not to mention the severe injuries he's collected along the way.
The Spaniard has won 31 races for Honda but has only managed to finish second in the championship in 2007, 2010, and 2012; not bad for any other team on the grid, but not quite the expectations for a team of Repsol Honda's stature.
Although it's too early to know for sure, it's rumored that Lorenzo's two-year deal with Honda is worth nearly $10 million. If this were to be true, Lorenzo will miss the more than $15 million he's allegedly being paid per year at Ducati. Then again, he'll most likely make up the difference in race-win bonuses at Honda if he delivers the goods as expected.