Honda has confirmed that it has finalised deals for Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso to stay on as its factory riders for the 2010 season.
Earlier in the summer the team had taken the unusual step of announcing that it had reached 'basic agreement' with its current riders for next year, without giving absolute confirmation that they would stay on. This led to continued speculation that Pedrosa might switch to Ducati.
But today at Misano Honda announced that negotiations had now been completed and both Dovizioso and Pedrosa would be retained.
"We are very pleased that both Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso have re-signed for the factory Honda team and we have total confidence that these two riders possess the talent to help us fight for the MotoGP world championship," said HRC president Tetsuo Suzuki. "They both have long and successful careers with Honda in grand prix racing and we are happy this partnership will continue."
Pedrosa has been a Honda rider throughout his career, and has been with its factory MotoGP team since graduating to the top level as a double 250cc champion in 2006. Although he has taken seven MotoGP wins for the team, he has yet to mount a season-long title challenge - but is confident that he can do so with Honda.
"We have now established an effective way of working and I'm confident that we can become even more competitive in the future," said Pedrosa. "The target has always been to win the world championship and that of course stays the same.
"We have proved before that we can be the fastest and beat the best in the world, and I still believe we can get to a level where we are challenging for that at every race. That is what the whole team must work towards.
"HRC has a very impressive racing heritage and I still have confidence that they can produce a bike that can win the world championship."
Dovizioso is also a long-time Honda man and was brought into the works line-up this year to replace Nicky Hayden after a very impressive rookie season with the satellite JiR Scot team in 2008. The Italian took his maiden MotoGP win at Donington Park in July and also believes he can become world champion with Honda.
"My first year as a factory rider has taught me a lot," said Dovizioso. "I'm confident that with the direction we've agreed for machine development we can reach a level where we are fighting for victory every Sunday.
"Honda is a company that has achieved huge racing success and there are a lot of very talented and passionate people behind this effort. I'm sure we have the potential to fight for the world title."
Both riders' deals are currently for 2010 only, although Dovizioso also has options for 2011.
Honda's announcement means that MotoGP's top three teams will all retain their present line-ups for next season, despite a frenzied silly season that saw abundant speculation about team moves for Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo in particular.