When Jorge Lorenzo announced he was going to leave Yamaha for Ducati, Dani Pedrosa was initially slated for a move there. Both he and the Repsol Honda are very glad this isn’t going to be the case.
— MotoGP™ 🇹🇭⏱ (@MotoGP) May 16, 2016
Now that Dani Pedrosa is confirmed to be staying with Repsol Honda until the end of 2018, he can stress out about racing well instead of an unwanted impending move. And there’s plenty of work yet for him and his Honda RC213V. He’s only taken a single podium win in all of 2016 and is only four points ahead of a rapidly gaining Maverick Viñales in the World Championship standings.
“I’m very happy to arrive at the Italian GP having renewed with Honda and aware I will be able to keep working with a team I know and trust. With our future well lined-up we’ll be totally free to just focus on the work to do on track. Mugello has a very fast and flowing layout with long corners, so finding a good setup and a good grip will be crucial. So far my overall pace in races has been better than could be expected from practices, in Le Mans at least it was so in the second half of the race, so I’m hoping to start strong from Friday and to keep improving over the weekend. I’ll try to do better on Saturday qualifying and to get a better grid position to be closer to the front and not remain stuck in the first half of the race.”
While he could certainly have done better this year, any racer would be jealous of Pedrosa’s track record historically. Of his 250 Grand Prix starts, he’s achieved a total of 142 podiums, 51 of which were victories. Should he cinch the Italian GP, he would be bringing home his 52nd victory.