Honda's recently appointed HRC president Tetsuo Suzuki has moved to quell speculation over the team's future rider line-up by confirming that the company has reached basic agreements with Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso until the end of 2011.
Pedrosa currently lies fourth in the world championship following a victory at Laguna Seca while Dovizioso scored his first MotoGP win at Donington last month.
"I'm delighted to be able to announce that we have come to a basic agreement with our riders Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso for the next two years," said Mr. Suzuki. "I understand that to announce this in August is much earlier compared to past years.
"Though there are still some details of the contracts to finalise, we are making this announcement now so that the riders and the team can remain fully concentrated on our joint goals: to win races and recapture the MotoGP world championship. We are convinced these riders have the armoury required to win this ultimate prize."
The rider market has been stimulated in recent weeks by speculation surrounding Jorge Lorenzo, who has yet to confirm that he will stay with Yamaha in 2010. The Spaniard has been linked with a switch to Honda, which in turn had provoked rumours connecting Pedrosa with all three of the other MotoGP factory teams. With Pedrosa now almost certain to stay where he is, Lorenzo's signature on a new Yamaha contract seems all the more likely.
Mr. Suzuki added that he believed that HRC has the rider line-up to return the famous team to glory.
"Dani and Andrea are highly motivated, and I believe they will strive in the last half of this season to get positive results," he said. "Both riders have been with Honda since their days in the 125cc class, and HRC will give our every effort to develop highly competitive machines for these two riders who possess the highest potential."