Dani Pedrosa is by far the biggest name still to announce his 2019 MotoGP plans.

But so far the Spaniard, a winner of 31 premier-class races, has given little away.

A packed press conference on Thursday at Catalunya - following the news Pedrosa would be replaced at Repsol Honda by Jorge Lorenzo next season - saw the #26 say only that he has several options.

"It was my plan that I can say something here, but unfortunately things still are not as clear as I would like," Pedrosa said.

"All I can say today is that I have several options, good options. I need time to think about them…"

Pedrosa, never a fan of speculation and rumour, refused to budge on what those options might be or to even rule out retirement.

But the expectation in the paddock is that, given there was no retirement announcement in Catalunya, Pedrosa is at least seriously tempted to race on with another team.

And with all factory MotoGP seats full, Pedrosa's name was soon being pencilled in at the proposed new Petronas Yamaha team.

More should be known about the viability of the Pedrosa-Petronas-Yamaha project at Assen this weekend.

"Talks are progressing well and I'm optimistic we'll find a good solution," Yamaha Racing managing director Lin Jarvis had said at Catalunya, referring to the quest for a new satellite team.

"Hopefully there will be some positive news within the next couple of weeks about 2019 and beyond.

"… if Dani would finally be one of the riders, I think myself and Yamaha would be happy to see that."

Movistar Yamaha's Maverick Vinales also said he would welcome Pedrosa's arrival: "For sure he could bring a lot of information."

Aside from Pedrosa, the other riders on the grid yet to confirm their 2019 plans are: Scott Redding, Bradley Smith, Alvaro Bautista, Karel Abraham, Tito Rabat, Takaaki Nakagami, Franco Morbidelli and Thomas Luthi.

Morbidelli is thought most likely to join Pedrosa at Petronas.

Meanwhile, on track at Assen, Pedrosa's focus will be on claiming a first podium of a difficult season after spending the Catalunya post-race test working on bike set-up.

“Assen has been a difficult race for me in the past, though I’ve also had some good results there. The track is very fast, and the bike tends to wheelie and move a lot. You need to work on the setup well to get a bike that’s stable without losing in other areas," Pedrosa said.

"Of course the weather, which is typically quite unstable, can makes things even more challenging. That said, we worked well during the recent test in Catalunya, and we found some little setup modifications aimed at giving us better grip; now we’ll see how it goes in Assen.

"We’ll try and do things correctly beginning on Friday morning and be prepared for whatever kind of situation we find.”

Pedrosa's best finish so far this season is a fifth place, at Le Mans and Catalunya, having tangled with other riders in Argentina and Jerez, plus a further fall at Mugello.


Loading Comments...