Crash.net caught up with Repsol Honda team principle Livio Suppo and Movistar Yamaha team director Massimo Meregalli in the Le Mans MotoGP paddock on Saturday, for their response to an overnight report in the Spanish media stating that Dani Pedrosa would be joining Yamaha next season...

Crash.net:
What is HRC's position after reading the story that Dani will leave Repsol Honda for Movistar Yamaha?

Livio Suppo:
The position is that our priority should be to keep the same riders, both Dani and Marc. At the moment speaking to the lawyer of Dani and Dani himself, they both confirmed that it's not true, that the article from El Pais is not the truth. I trust them so nothing changed.

Crash.net:
Does Dani have an offer from you?

Livio Suppo:
We are speaking, sure.

Crash.net:
Is there a deadline or a time when you expect to hear his decision?

Livio Suppo:
Not really. I think that, as I've always said, I don't understand why there is this rush to sign contracts before one third of the season. But anyway, it's a normal negotiation.

Crash.net:
What is the situation with Marc's contract?

Livio Suppo:
The same. At the moment Nakamoto-san is not here. He will be back in Mugello. We will sit down for a meeting in Mugello. But again, I don't see any big issue.

Crash.net:
Now this story has appeared in several publications, has it given weight to the idea that Dani will leave?

Livio Suppo:
If I have to believe what is written in the press many times you lose time, you know what I mean? In the end maybe it's just a good way for Yamaha to put pressure on Vi?ales. To show that they have a real talent here. Honestly, as I said before, I trust what Dani tell me. If he will go to Yamaha I will understand because maybe he needs new motivation or whatever. I think this should be one of the cases that is not a question of money. I think if Dani will leave Honda it will be because he really thinks he needs a new challenge and I will personally understand. At the moment he continues to tell us that it is a priority to stay here. I can't see why I should not trust him.

Crash.net:
Do you plan to speak to him about negotiations soon?

Livio Suppo:
We speak every day. When you are in negotiations that is normal.

Crash.net:
Do you feel you are close to agreeing a deal?

Livio Suppo:
No drama. We know that he has other offers and that's normal. But that is normal in negotiation.

Crash.net:
Cal has been linked with Repsol Honda. What are your thoughts on him and the other satellite riders' plans for 2017?

Livio Suppo:
Well, at the moment we are focussed on the negotiation with Dani and Marc. For the satellite bikes, of course we usually speak to the teams, but it is not up to them because there is the sponsor and other things so except there is something we don't really like, we don't force them into something. I think Cal and Lucio are doing a good job and it should be important for Cal to stay in the same team for more than one year. In the last few years he has been changing teams many times and probably it's better to stay.

Crash.net:
Maio, we've just spoken to Livio about the report in the Spanish media that Pedrosa is joining Yamaha. What is the situation from your point of view?

Massimo Meregalli:
I know who wrote that news, but we really don't know why or the source. Nothing has been signed at all.

Crash.net:
But does Pedrosa have an offer from you?

Massimo Meregalli:
The next question! [smiles]

Crash.net:
Would you say the situation regarding the second rider is close to being resolved?

Massimo Meregalli:
I can't say, sorry. I don't want to say anything that is not exactly true.

Crash.net:
But can we say that it is between two riders?

Massimo Meregalli:
Yes.

Crash.net:
When would you like it to be decided by?

Massimo Meregalli:
As soon as possible. But I don't know.

Crash.net:
Is the guy over there [pointing at the Suzuki/Maverick Vinales garage] still your number one choice?

Massimo Meregalli:
[Long pause] I can say we have two choices...

By Peter McLaren and Neil Morrison

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