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Honda Denies Rumor Dani Pedrosa Retiring

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After expressing our opinion that LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow deserves a full factory ride, we learned of rumors circulating that Dani Pedrosa would be retiring following injuries sustained by him at the Motegi round earlier this year.

Pedrosa, who has been a factory Honda rider for more than a decade, has never won a MotoGP championship title. He has had some serious injuries during his career, and some thought yet another broken collarbone at Motegi a few weeks ago would cause Pedrosa to call it quits … handing the Repsol seat to Crutchlow next year.

Honda, through HRC Communications Manager, Livio Suppo, has vehemently denied that Pedrosa is not coming back, and Pedrosa has himself now stated on Twitter that the rumor is not true. Pedrosa is not racing this weekend at the penultimate Sepang round where he has been replaced by Hiroshi Aoyama.

The final round of the 2016 MotoGP series is coming up shortly at Valencia on November 13. Honda indicates Pedrosa will do his best to be ready to race that weekend, but his status is not certain.


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44 Comments

  1. Kevin says:

    Pedrosa’s reason for such a lackluster career at the top of the sport can be attributed to few things….. Allowing Puig to manage him they we he did, not taking a chance, move to another factory team and his very unaggressive very technical riding style. He’s a good rider, definitely one of the aliens, but he never is really exciting. He was known as Pedrobot while under Puig’s thumb, always doing what Puig wished. I don’t believe his physical fragility was ever a true hinderance as riders in the 500 era suffered much more harsher injuries but we’re able to come back a win a championship. His lack of risk is his most dubious weakness.

    • SF848 says:

      I would tend to agree with most of what you said. Although I think his inability to deal with his injuries is ultimately what cost him championships. You can look at riders like Lorenzo and even Marquez who race despite injuries and illness. I guess if that is what you mean by Pedrosa’s lack of risk, you are quite correct.

  2. SF848 says:

    Poor old Dani. I’m a huge VR46 fan, but Pedrosa gets my respect. He is definitely one of the “aliens”. I think his biggest downfall has been his inability to stay healthy. He clearly has the speed to always be at the front of any race, but getting injured over and over again means he was never able to challenge for the overall title through consistency.

  3. Tunde says:

    Contrast the comments on this rumor to those directed at DP26 in the wake of Sepang last year.
    DP26 seems to attract a lot of critical vitriol from US Motogp fans more than any other demographic. The reason ? A Rossi inspired meme propagated by NH69’s dismal title defense in 07. Rossi, Burgess and their chavvy fans mischievously claimed the 800 era was an HRC plot to gift DP26 a senior title that was better suited to his smaller stature. They wrapped all those snide remarks in the brooding Svengali ‘s coat-Alberto Puig. That’s a lot of insinuation in one insult. It also conveniently misses out that all the manufacturers agreed to the capacity reduction, unanimously. If HRC had DP in mind, did Yamaha have JL99 in mind also for 08 ?
    It was a ridiculous allegation then and we’ve seen how ridiculous his allegations get when he is threatened by a faster rider. VR got duffed up more by Crazy Joe at PI last year than MM yet, somehow, MM was the one conspiring to deny the old GOAT his 10th title.
    Rewind to Sepang 06 and the podium celebrations. Capirossi, forever distinguished for doing “the Marquez” on Harada and being the court jester in Rossi’s fawning entourage, mocked DP’s very serious ankle injury, after he heroically rode to a third place finish. As much as I loved watching VR win prior to then, I realized that VR feared DP’s speed and was a bad sport. Whilst he was good for the popularity of the sport, he was a bad sportman.
    As others have written, I’d like to hear the name of a worthy replacement. Cal, I suspect, may be a little in the Ben Spies mould. Perfect in a small, factory supported privateer team, but not in more high profile squad. DP is the greatest rider never to win the championship. His record is streets ahead of But 4 of his contempories. He laps .2 to .5 of MM93 and his race pace is closer than that. Bikes he has developed have won 3 championships (ask CS27) on the bounce. This years earlier iteration of the Honda was MM’s creation. Subsequent input by CC and DP turned the bike around.
    Yes, I’m a fan and would hate for him to be nerfed out on terms not under his control. He’s been a loyal servant to his employers and deserves their respect. Can he win the championship ? Leicester won the premiership last year so anything can happen. Heck, Eddie Irvine almost won the F1 championship years back when Shumacher was crocked. ie, unlikely but…….
    I’d love to see him on a Zook though. Even the colour is similar to his NSR250 of day’s yore.

  4. Silver says:

    He’s not a champion, more than ten years on a Repsol Honda (several as their #1) and no title is not very impressive

  5. richard says:

    think Binder is ready to move up from Moto 3 ?…..like watching him race !

  6. Norm G. says:

    the “hedge of protection” afforded Catalan Dani Ramal (by Repsol) is his to exploit until such time Dani decides he wants move out from behind it.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      There are a number of young Spanish hotshots that Repsol could offer that hedge of protection to. I really think his record has been his hedge of protection.

      • Norm G. says:

        re: “his record has been his hedge of protection.”

        close, his “hedge” is his rabid fan base. visit Valencia town center and you’ll see more clearly how it’s long been strangely disproportionate to any on track success. Spain was into the whole “cult of personality” thing well before we had the Kardashians dropped on us.

        • mickey says:

          Spain and Italy care about motorcycle racing and adore motorcycle racers (especially those who consitantly win) and it shows in the number of top tier MotoGP riders there are from those countries. The US not so much, and it shows in the number of top tier MotoGP riders we have from the U.S. In the U.S. we seem to care more about movie stars.

          • Scott says:

            No… America cares about football, basketball, baseball, hockey, and NASCAR.

            Other countries care about soccer and grand prix racing.

            It’s not a bad thing, and it’s not a good thing. It just is what it is.

  7. WJF says:

    Pedrosa must have some good interesting photos of one of the Honda managers as a reason he is still on the team this long with 0 championships….

    • mickey says:

      LOL you guys need to study up on the 2006 season to see just how lucky Hayden was to get a Championship. It was more a matter of Rossi and Yamaha blowing it, than of Hayden winning it. Other than lucking out that season, he spent 8 years on the Repsol Honda and had a total of 3 wins. 2 of those at his home track.

      I like Hayden, nice guy, but he is no where near the caliber of MotoGP racer that Pedrosa is, despite his title.

      • VLJ says:

        That’s not the point. The point is that Dani should not still have a Repsol Honda MotoGP ride. No other rider in the history of the sport without a top-tier championship to his name was ever afforded a lifetime premier factory seat. Dani would have been shuffled down the pecking order a good five or six years ago if he wasn’t a favored son Spaniard.

        • Dave says:

          Throughout his career, the only rider who could claim to be more worthy was either his team mate, or retained by the Yamaha factory. He’s kept his position because he deserves it and they’re simply aren’t any available riders good enough to take it away.

          • VLJ says:

            Nonsense. The dominance of his bike and team has always skewed the results wildly in his favor.

            Pick a year, any year, and if you made Dani swap rides with the best guys on the Ducatis, Suzukis, satellite bikes, or Open bikes you would have seen Dani well down the track and his replacement on the Repsol Honda running near the front. Wouldn’t matter which guy you picked, either. Dovi, Iannone, Crutchlow, Aleix or Pol Espargaro, Vinales, they all would have finished ahead of Dani if they swapped rides, and Dani more than deserved to lose his ride.

            Every other rider in the history of the sport (both before and after Dani’s arrival on the scene) lost their factory ride after producing as little as Dani did his first half-dozen seasons on the Repsol Honda. He repaid Honda by adding another half-dozen years of similar or lesser results, even as every one of his teammates won world titles on the same bike.

            It’s utterly without precedent.

            Even in this year of unexpected parity, which has primarily been the result of so many wet/mixed-condition races, Dani has mostly proven to be a nonfactor. He won one race. Great. So did Jack Miller.

            Week in, week out, Dani was mid-pack, somewhere between fifth and ninth.

            Dani was always a good rider, and occasionally a great one. Were he also an Argentinian or Japanese or American rider he would have had only a five-year stint at best on that Repsol Honda, and he wouldn’t have been on competitive machinery for the last five years or so.

            In a nutshell, he would have been Alex Barros.

          • mickey says:

            Nonsense. Dani has 3 World Championships. Riding for Honda he flat out won about 50% of the 250 races he was in earning 2 World Championships and won a 125 championship as well. He earned his way onto a Repsol Honda (just as Marquez did, just as Rossi did by winning in the jr classes) and when he arrived in the premier class he immediately started to rack up wins and podiums, and has done so every year since. In his rookie year he won as many races as the Champion did that year.

            No one has ridden fast enough, or consistently to take his seat away from him, premier title or not.

          • VLJ says:

            No one cares about his championships in the minor leagues, especially since they occurred so long ago.

            No one else has ridden fast enough because no one else was given his ride, and he wasn’t forced to take their rides. He would have been relegated to also-ran status at least a half-decade ago if Repsol had treated him the same as every factory since the dawn of time has treated every other racer with Dani’s results.

            Zero world titles in the premier class over eleven seasons, all his teammates won titles riding the same bike, yet he alone has been given a lifetime ride on the premier bike/team in the sport.

            It is quite literally unprecedented, and with good reason. It makes no sense.

          • mickey says:

            VLJ said: No one cares about his championships in the minor leagues, especially since they occurred so long ago.

            So I guess Rossi has only won 7 World Championships because two of his were in the minor leagues. Oh, and Giacomo Agostini only has 8 since 7 of his were in the jr class. Oh and Freddie Spencer loses one since one of his was in the 250 class.

            Interesting philosophy there.

          • Dave says:

            We’re arm-chair managing here but I am betting that the sport’s insiders know well how to assess the talent and quality of the riders in the field. If there were someone better for the job, Repsol/ HRC would’ve sent Dani packing? Instead, with great talent coming and going through the class, he has kept his seat.

          • VLJ says:

            It has everything to do with Dani’s passport, and Spanish oil giant Repsol’s strong desire to have Spanish riders flying their colors. If Dani were Argentinian or American or Japanese with five years on the top team and no championships to show for it, he loses that ride sometime around 2010.

            History is irrefutable. That’s how it has always gone down, without exception…except for the Curious Case of Dani Barros.

          • mickey says:

            You know it really doesn’t matter if there is precedence or not. Doesn’t matter. Honda likes Pedrosa and he produces for them. His record is clear and production outstanding. If you look at racing from a world view as a fan of the sport, and not just from the view of a Hayden fanatic, Hayden rode a Repsol Honda for 8 seasons and was a very poor producer for them. If you disregard the fluke Championship which he really backed into (252 points.. a total that would have gotten him 3rd in the Championship in 2015 and not even in the top 5 any other year), he was one of the poorest producers for Honda ever (102 race starts 3 wins), yet to this day, even after he voluntarily abandoned Honda for Ducati (yep look it up, Honda did not let Hayden go, he sought a Ducati ride before his Honda contract expired and left of his own volition), Honda does everything they can to make sure he is still riding a Honda motorcycle.
            Look, you say Pedrosa has kept his ride because he is Spanish, but if that was the hang up there are multiple young Spaniards riding MotoGP and Moto 3 that Honda could have given his ride to when his contract was up last year. I’m pretty sure he retains his seat because when he is healthy there is no one else on the grid that isn’t already a factory Honda or Yamaha rider that can consistently produce more podiums for Honda.
            You may not like Pedrosa but that doesn’t matter, Honda does and that’s really all that matters. It’s their bike and their money, and they can sign whoever they want..and they choose Pedrosa.

          • VLJ says:

            For the umpteenth time, I like Dani. He’s a class act. I have nothing against him.

            I just recognize the obvious. He hasn’t held on to his ride simply because Honda “likes him,” as you put it. No, the telling factor is that Repsol likes him, and everyone knows why.

            Also, I don’t know why you keep bringing up Hayden. I’ve only been talking about Dani. For the record, however, Nicky only rode six years for Repsol Honda, not eight years, as you stated. He won a title for Honda during those years, despite Dani sabotaging his title chances.

            Dani? He never won squat in the premier class, even when Rossi was a nonfactor on the Ducati and Stoner was on the sidelines for most of the season. That year’s championship was handed to Dani on a silver platter and still he couldn’t manage it.

            Also, Nicky came up in an era when Valentino Rossi was his teammate, and at the peak of his career. Valentino then moved to Yamaha and continued to gobble up most of the wins. Then it was Casey Stoner.

            No one was ever going to beat those guys.

            Oh, wait. Nicky actually did beat them and won a world title for Honda, something Dani could never do.

            Lastly, get off the whole “Nicky was lucky to win his championship” narrative. There are no undeserving champions. A MotoGP season is a marathon, and week-to-week consistency, not the number of race wins, is the most rewarded attribute. With no thanks to his bumbling teammate, Nicky still managed to score more points than anyone else across the entire season, and that’s all that matters. That’s how championships are decided, and Nicky was duly and deservedly crowned.

          • Dave says:

            Re: “It has everything to do with Dani’s passport, and Spanish oil giant Repsol’s strong desire to have Spanish riders flying their colors.”

            If that we so important then they would’ve signed Jorge Lorenzo or any of the other Spanish riders who you believe could do Dani’s job as well as he does. They would not have kept Nicky so long, nor would they have signed Casey Stoner, Valention Rossi, Max Biaggi, or Andrea Dovizio.

            Up until Marquez’ arrival, Dani has been the ONLY Spanish rider to hold the Repsol/Honda seat.

          • VLJ says:

            Alex Criville and Sete Gibernau beg to differ.

            Anyway, what do Jorge Lorenzo, Casey Stoner, and Valentino Rossi have in common?

            They all won multiple MotoGP championships…unlike Dani, who never won a single one.

            What do Max Biaggi and Andrea Dovisioso have in common?

            They’re both Italian, not Spanish, neither won a premier class title during their stints with Honda, and both were soon sent packing. You can also add Brazilian Alex Barros to that list.

            Thanks for further illustrating my point for me.

      • HM says:

        Only thing you left out about 2006 was Gibers taking out both Melandri and Capirex causing both to lose massive points due to injurys that took several races out of both,not sure if either truly regained their form during the rest of the season.DP has won over 30 races in his time in MotoGP though his results were better during the earlier part of his career.He was dominant in 250s!HRC likes to win races and normally the championships follow.It is the odd season when a two race winner of that season win the title.KR JR has been blasted often for only winning 8 races on an old Suzuki,I find that a bit ironic personally.

    • Fred says:

      The old memory is fading on a date, but it seems like 2 years back Dani would have got the World Title but for a bike issue DNF & on the starting grid of the next race the bike knocked out and he had to start from last place.

  8. George says:

    No love lost here. Hit the road Dani!

    Crutchlow, eh, maybe but I think not likely. He is on a roll right now but… there are probably some younger riders that are a better investment.

  9. James Geske says:

    We all know Pedrosa is fast, sometimes. He has been a factory Honda rider for as long as we can remember. How his results have kept him on the bike so long is anyones guess. I’ve never been a fan. Give the ride to Crutchlow and see if its his time. What is there to lose?

    • Brian says:

      I’ll hazard a guess: He’s won 29 races in MotoGP (Cal, everybody’s sudden favorite, has now managed 2 wins in just shy of 6 seasons.) He’s 8th in the all-time standings across classes. He’s never finished a season in MotoGP lower than 5th, and has been 2nd three times (with a bit better luck, he likely would have won a championship). Even in 2015-2016 he’s won more races and had more podiums than anybody other than Rossi, Marquez, and Lorenzo, despite missing five races for injury.

    • Dave says:

      Nobody needs to guess. Pedrosa is been one of the best motoGP riders in the world and with the exception of his first season in 2001 he has never failed to win a race in a season.

      Crutchlow is good but he’s been in gp for 6 years now so his quality well known. Every last team manager would hire Dani over Cal for even money without thinking twice about it.

  10. notarollingroadblock says:

    Always liked how the little munchkin looks on the bike. Maybe his nationality is what keeps him on a Repsol bike. Maybe being close in size to MM makes his input more valuable to the team than would a bigger rider. Maybe his light weight saves on fuel and tires. Maybe…

  11. Alonzo! says:

    Always felt Honda screwed up pushing Hayden out for Danni, and his results in all these years confirmed it…

    • Ben says:

      Boy isn’t that is the truth.Honda got what they deserved.

    • Brian says:

      You mean winning 29 MotoGP races, and 74 other podiums? Yeah, major screw-up…

    • peter h says:

      Out of all the people in the world, he is fourth best at what he does, which is race the fastest road bikes in the world, and he’s shit? Tough crowd… don’t forget to tip your waitress.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      I don’t see how anyone can really make a sound argument that Hayden was a better rider than Pedrosa. Pedrosa has racked up tons of wins, podiums and points for Honda. I guess they did indeed get what they deserved.

      • VLJ says:

        What would everyone’s take be regarding Dani if he’d spent the last five or six seasons riding bikes that had zero chance of winning races or garnering podiums? His career numbers would look entirely ordinary if he’d spent the last half-decade riding Open bikes, satellite bikes, recalcitrant Ducatis, and WSB machines.

        See, the fact of the matter is that is exactly what his career path would have been had he lost his Repsol Honda ride a half-decade ago, which is precisely what happened to every other rider in the history of the sport who failed to produce a championship over his first five or six seasons on a top-tier factory ride.

        Honda doesn’t hire caddies, not for the Repsol Honda MotoGP effort, yet they’ve allowed Dani to serve as nothing more than a caddie to their real title-threats for nearly his entire career in the premier class.

        • Brian says:

          You sound ridiculous, VLJ. Do you think Rossi would have 88 premiere class wins if he’d spent his entire career on a Suzuki, or an Aprilia, or a satellite bike, or the crap Honda Hayden ended up riding his last two years?

          The championship isn’t the only thing that matters, and anyway, Dani has come damn close on a couple of occasions.

          • mickey says:

            Yea how many wins did Rossi have in the years he spent on a Ducati?

            Being the greatest takes a combo of bike and rider. Rossi is an awesome rider, but without the factory Honda or Yamaha, he’s just another mid packer.

            Im sure the same fate would await Pedrosa or Lorenzo or Marquez for that matter.

          • VLJ says:

            Rossi earned his lengthy stints on top-shelf machinery by virtue of his SEVEN world titles in the premier class. He delivered championships at the highest level, over and over and over.

            Again, you’re making my point, not yours. Even Valentino Rossi couldn’t win without a competitive bike, and neither can anyone else. Dani has never had to ride a noncompetitive bike. Not once, not for a single race. He’s never even had to ride one of the lesser factory efforts. Nope, he’s been with the top team on the most well-developed bike for every race of his career, so of course he has far superior career numbers than the guys who weren’t on factory Hondas and Yamahas.

            You people try to compare Dani’s stats with those of “non aliens” such as Cal Crutchlow or Andrea Dovisioso or anyone else you care to name, and it’s simply absurd. None of those other riders with relatively modest career numbers spent their entire careers on a Repsol Honda. Crutchlow has never ridden a single race on a full factory anything, never mind a factory Honda. Dovi was only given a few short seasons, and when he didn’t win he was booted. Same goes for Marco Melandri and Sete Gibernau.

            ONLY Dani was ever given a Repsol Honda ride from Day One, and for every race thereafter. ONLY Dani failed to win a world title as Repsol’s lead rider. ONLY Dani was allowed to retain that top-shelf ride for more than four years without delivering a title. ONLY Dani was given ELEVEN FREAKING YEARS on a Repsol Honda, champion or otherwise.

            Give Dani the same rides Crutchlow and the others have had, and are we even having this conversation? Of course not. Dani would not enjoy “alien” status. He would be a solid mid-packer/occasional frontrunner, just as they’ve been, and these last five seasons would have seen him riding wholly noncompetitive machinery as a reward for failing to run consistently at the front, which he most certainly would have failed to do.

            The guy was born on third base, the game was then suspended indefinitely so he’s still sitting there on third base, and you people think he hit eleven straight year’s worth of triples.

  12. mickey says:

    I have always been a Pedrosa fan. Heck of a racer. Always hoped he would win a premier class championship, alas was not to be. But at this point in
    his career, with the competiton he has, a Championship seems remote at best. I’ve always felt Dani’s many podiums have helped team mates become champions, and in fact they did. But now he is teamed with someone that doesn’t appear to need any help. Maybe it’s time for # 26 hang it up. I’d hate to see him languish like Nicky Haden and Colin Edwards did, cicling around as a mid pack grid filler.

    Let’s see how next year goes, but if it doesn’t go significantly better than this year, I’d rather see Crutchlow have the ride, or Aleix Espargaro maybe.

  13. Jeremy in TX says:

    I honestly was surprised that Honda signed Pedrosa again. While I fully expect him to be back next year, I wouldn’t be surprised if it ends up being his last.

  14. Scott says:

    Put Nicky on it at Valencia!

    Then Crutchlow can have the bike next season when Pedrosa retires or gets hurt again, whichever comes first…