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Honda Confirms Signing of Lorenzo; Danillo Petrucci Moving to Factory Ducati Team Next Year

2019 Ducati teammates Andrea Doviziso (l) and Danilo Petrucci (r)

Honda confirmed earlier today that it has an agreement with Jorge Lorenzo to ride with the Repsol Honda MotoGP Team, as teammate to current champion Marc Marquez for two years beginning in 2019.

Additionally, Ducati has announced the replacement for Lorenzo on its factory squad next year. Danilo Petrucci is being promoted from the Pramac Racing Team to serve as teammate to Andrea Dovizioso.  The contract appears to be for a single year.

Below you will find press releases from both Honda and Ducati:

June 6, 2018 – Honda Racing Corporation (HRC) today announced that it has reached a basic agreement with Spanish rider Jorge Lorenzo (31 years old), who will sign-on with Repsol Honda Team as a factory*1 rider to compete in the FIM*2 Road Racing World Championship MotoGP class from the beginning of 2019 for two years.

Since debuting in the MotoGP class in 2008, Jorge Lorenzo has had a remarkable career, winning the championship title three times, in 2010, 2012 and 2015.

HRC plans to announce details of its factory team for 2019 at a later date.

  • *1Honda factory team operated by Honda Racing Corporation (HRC)
  • *2FIM: Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme


Here is the press release from Ducati concerning Danilo Petrucci:

Ducati Corse wishes to announce that it has reached an agreement with Danilo Petrucci which will see the Italian rider join the Ducati Team in 2019.  The 27-year-old from Terni has therefore been promoted to the factory squad after four seasons in the factory-supported Pramac Racing Team and he will race alongside his fellow Italian Andrea Dovizioso, who was recently confirmed for two more seasons.

“It goes without saying that for me, being part of the factory team is a dream come true,” said Danilo Petrucci. “It’s a great honour to become an official rider for the Ducati Team, especially for someone like me who started in Ducati as a production motorcycle test rider. First of all I would like to thank Paolo Campinoti and Francesco Guidotti, who gave me the chance four years ago to race on a Ducati for the Pramac Racing Team. Without them all this would not have been possible. I also want to thank the managers of Ducati and Ducati Corse – Claudio Domenicali, Gigi Dall’Igna and Paolo Ciabatti – who appreciated me first as a person and then as a rider and I really can’t wait to start this new adventure in the factory team. Now all I want to do is to finish the year in the top five in the standings and then start the new season with the Ducati Team.”

Claudio Domenicali, Ducati Motor Holding CEO, added: “First of all I’d like to thank Jorge Lorenzo for all the efforts and commitment that he has made during his time as a Ducati rider and in particular for his outstanding victory last Sunday at Mugello, which will go down in history as one of our company’s legendary racing achievements. Jorge is a great champion, capable of incredible feats, and even though it is sad that he took such a long time to find the right feeling with our bike, we will continue to do everything possible to put him in a position to achieve further victories in the remaining rounds of the season and fight for the world title together with his team-mate Andrea Dovizioso. I wish to give a warm welcome to Danilo, whom we look forward to seeing in Ducati Team colours next year, together with Andrea, and who we feel sure will continue his rapid rise to success.”

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  1. Stephen C. says:

    Who here thinks that Honda signed Lorenzo just so he doesn’t get back on a sweet handling Yamaha that suits his style so well? If I were Honda, I would gladly pay Lorenzo to ensure that minimize challenges to Marquez.

    I just don’t think the Honda is going to suit Lorenzo at all, and that’s just fine to Honda and Marquez.

  2. Provologna says:

    Before this season started, who’d have believed the prediction of JL and MM racing for Repsol Honda? If this doesn’t convince you to subscribe in 2019, I doubt anything would.

    How will those two Spaniards get along?

  3. Mike says:

    How many of you know that Dirck was a badass surfer. I saw him surf 10 ft Salt Creek before there were houses or a hotel there. Ha he is still pretty badass on a Bike. Keep rocking it, Dirck. Mike, surf bro.

    • Dirck Edge says:

      Thanks Mike. I remember that day. Alan was with us, and there were some good waves.

  4. Vrooom says:

    The Honda garage will be a love nest. Satin sheets and all. Hoping Iannone finds a home, he deserves it. Aprilia may be the only full factory ride still available, otherwise perhaps a satellite Yamaha team if one materializes.

  5. Kent says:

    “…it is sad that he took such a long time to find the right feeling with our bike…”

  6. Brinskee says:


    C’mon, admit it Dirck.


  7. J Wilson says:

    (If I was fluent in Spanish . . . . ) Oh to be a fly on the wall in the Repsol HRC garages next years. They won’t need tire warmers !

    I honestly hope Dani Pedrosa could become a ‘Brand Ambassador’ for Honda or some such capacity. He’s taken enough hits and injuries, won races, and doesn’t need to prove anything else to any one. Best of Luck, DP !

  8. arrowrod says:

    Lorenzo? Well, at least he is really good at the pass blocking move. I could point out that Lorenzo doesn’t follow team orders. Hopefully Pedrosa has saved enough to retire, and does retire.

    • Anonymous says:

      Lorenzo will have no problem blocking for Marquez. He even did it last year for Marquez,to the chagrin of his teammate Dovi… You didn’t think he was gonna let an Italian rider through so easy at a race in Spain, did you?

      • Lim says:

        That doesn’t mean he won’t block Marc if he’s in front.

      • Dave says:

        “Lorenzo will have no problem blocking for Marquez. He even did it last year for Marquez,to the chagrin of his teammate Dovi…”

        That isn’t what happened. Dovi said himself that he was giving everything to stay with Lorenzo and that he appreciated his team mate’s help with the pace. In the end it was all too much and they both fell.

  9. Jeremy in TX says:

    Honda is going to have one hell of a line up in 2019 with Marquez and Lorenzo. It’s hard to even picture Pedrosa in anything but Repsol Honda leathers. I don’t know what options he has, but hopefully he isn’t ready to retire just yet.

    I thought Pedrosa could potentially go to Suzuki, but, while nothing is final, it looks like Suzuki is pretty set on yet another youngster to join Rins.

    Pedrosa and Ianonne (who I think is the most underrated rider on the grid and am a bit surprised that he didn’t find his way back to Ducati during the shuffle) could make for a pretty formidable satellite Yamaha team if Yamaha ever decides what to do about their satellite effort. I’d hate to see either of those very talented riders end up on an Aprilia or a third tier satellite team.

    • I can’t imagine Pedrosa on any sort of second-tier (let alone third-tier) effort. His next announcement will be interesting.

    • VLJ says:

      I’m still wondering what thought-process Suzuki employed before making the determination that Rins was worth keeping but Iannoni wasn’t. Rins missed much of last year, and produced nothing. Iannoni was there all of last year, and produced nothing. This year, Rins showed early flashes during testing, and even during qualifying, but so far he’s done nothing on race day except crash a lot. Meanwhile, Iannoni is consistently out-qualifying him, and showing much greater speed and consistency on Sunday.

      So, knowing this, Suzuki is casting their lot with the wholly unproven Rins, who never won the title in Moto 2, and Mir, who isn’t a threat to win Moto 2 this year. Team Hammamatsu is essentially surrendering next season in hopes of a sunnier future, based on…what?

      Sorta reminds me of my bewilderment over Simeon, Syhrain, and Luthi getting rides in MotoGP, although Luthi was at least a consistent frontrunner the past couple of seasons. Those other three rookies, especially Simeon? Total headscratchers.

      In any case, yes, letting Iannoni go was a mistake. He’s Suzuki’s fastest rider, and the guy who is closest to winning races for them.

      I’m with you. I hope Dani lands a ride on the satellite Yamaha team, alongside Iannoni. I don’t want either go to throw away the remainders of their MotoGP careers on the worthless Aprilia, and even if the KTM is (somewhat) coming along, it’s still not on the level of the Yamaha. I don’t have high hopes for Dani doing much in this scenario, but Iannoni would surely be a Zarco-like threat on the Yamaha.

      Wait. Syhrain is already signed to be one of the Yamaha riders next year, isn’t he?

      • Anonymous says:

        Syhrain will be at Tech 3 KTM rider alongside Olivera next year. At this point, there is no satellite Yamaha effort for 2019.

        Suzuki baffled me last year when they chose Rins over Zarco. I couldn’t believe it. And now they are going to drop Iannone for Mir? I just don’t get it. Mir is a promising rider but totally unproven so far. Iannone has been doing a great job this year. His teammate has been mostly unremarkable. And now Iannone – the fastest factory Ducati rider in 2016 and the fastest factory Suzuki rider – only has Aprilia as an option at this point. Strange.

        And I’m with you on some of the rookies they have been signing. Syhrain, a Malaysian, I kind of get from a marketing standpoint, at least. Simeon makes no sense. Luthi is like the Dani Pedrosa of Moto2 – a long career with consistent podiums but usually not the top step and never a championship. None of these guys ever gave an impression that they could be successful on a GP bike.

        And sorry this went anonymous on me. It doesn’t retain my info anymore.

        • VLJ says:

          Doh! That’s right, Syhrain is staying with Tech 3, but Tech 3 isn’t staying with Yamaha.

          So, yeah, back to the original plan: Dani paired with Crazy Joe on the satellite Yamaha squad. I’m up for that.

  10. VLJ says:

    Petrucci’s one-year-only deal is a sure sign that Ducati is hedging their bets with him. Most factory-team deals are a minimum of two years, like Lorenzo’s with Honda.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      I suspect they’ve made it quite clear that he has earned one, and only one, shot at this.

      • fred says:

        That seems like a reasonable conclusion.

        I lost all respect for Petrucci when he almost rode off the track to let Rossi by. It was embarrassing.

        OTOH, he has worked very hard since then, and deserves the shop as much as anyone I can think of.

        With most of the seats now committed, we should be able to settle down to some great racing for the rest of this year.

    • ze says:

      He needs to show consistency

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