It’s widely expected that Dani Pedrosa will announce his retirement tomorrow at the Sachsenring MotoGP event. It’s also expected that Pedrosa will finish out the 2018 season with the Repsol Honda team.
While there are several impressive stats attached to Pedrosa and his MotoGP career, there is one that Pedrosa nor his fans will want to mention: that Pedrosa, a rider for the most powerful racing company in MotoGP–Honda/HRC–never won the MotoGP championship.
While the glass half full crowd will cite Pedrosa’s win record in MotoGP, the half-empty pundits will no doubt point out that while at Honda Pedrosa had numerous teammates that won the MotoGP title, from the late Nicky Hayden to Casey Stoner to Marc Marquez. He’s owns a long record of wins but it’s undoubtedly humbling for Pedrosa to know that the entire DORNA/HRC/Honda juggernaut put in place the means, the budget and the bikes for him to win the title. Instead, his career at Honda will end with Pedrosa being replaced by Jorge Lorenzo.
Things started to go odd with Pedrosa in the pre-season of 2018. He split with longtime management at Wasserman Media Group, which included former Repsol Honda MotoGP man Rhys Edwards, and instead signed a deal for former MotoGP rider Sete Gibernau to manage his career.
- First, Honda announced that Pedrosa was not going to return to the team next season.
- Then came the news that Pedrosa’s move to the new SIC/Pertronas/Aspar Yamaha satellite team was a “done deal”.
- Then a current Yamaha MotoGP rider said he welcomed Pedrosa joining the Yamaha team because Dani would then be able to spill all of Honda’s secrets regarding their MotoGP effort.
- Then Honda signed Jorge Lorenzo to replace Pedrosa.
- Then an email from Dani Pedrosa Gmail account arrived, stating he had made a decision regarding his future and would announce it at the German GP.
Honda’s seamless transmission technology, which Pedrosa has used from the time HRC introduced it, is a closely guarded Honda secret. Cal Crutchlow said last year that while he has used the transmission for multiple seasons, that he had never actually seen it. HRC’s policy is that the transmission is “eyes only”. They clear garages, and have used tarps and screens to cover the transmission when making changes to the system.
Almost a Yamaha rider, some suspect that instead Pedrosa will be named as a kind of “racing ambassador”/test rider for the factory and Repsol Honda. This position will come with a nice salary, and assuredly an extension of his current NDA regarding Honda’s technology.