HRC president Tetsuo Suzuki appears to have surprised Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso by indicating that they will stay at the factory Honda MotoGP team for the next two years.
Suzuki made the announcement during a special press conference on Friday at the Czech Republic Grand Prix (see previous story), even though it seems neither rider has actually signed.
“Well, still it is not fixed. The negotiations are going well. I have people I trust to do this job,” Pedrosa told the official MotoGP website. “There are still negotiations, but nothing is signed yet.”
Usually high-ranking team members are overly cautious when it comes to contract negotiations, refusing to comment until a watertight agreement has been reached.
Perhaps HRC wanted to kill-off rumours that Jorge Lorenzo will join Honda next year, something Suzuki did specifically rule out at the conference, but the early announcement might also be viewed as a warning to any other teams trying to poach Pedrosa or Dovizioso.
Pedrosa and Dovizioso finished third and fifth fastest in Friday free practice at Brno.
Team title sponsor Repsol is also yet to agree a new contract.