Marco Simoncelli is confident that Honda is the right choice for his move to MotoGP, even though the Japanese manufacturer has been beaten by Yamaha and Ducati in recent seasons.
The reigning 250cc champion announced yesterday that he will join Gresini Honda's MotoGP line-up in 2010, and reports in the Italian media suggest that his contract will be with the factory and he will receive works-specification equipment. Under next year's regulations rookies are no longer allowed to join factory MotoGP teams.
Simoncelli said he had also received an offer from Tech 3 Yamaha, but felt that Honda's deal was better for him.
"I decided quickly also to free my mind from these thoughts," he was quoted as saying by Gazzetta dello Sport
. "Why Honda? I like their offer a bit more. I thank Yamaha and [Tech 3 boss Herve] Poncharal for the interest they've shown in me, but this opportunity seemed like the best one.
"Perhaps at the moment the Yamaha bike seems a little bit better, but I think the Honda, the works one I mean, is very competitive."
Having secured his MotoGP future, Simoncelli said he would focus fully on the rest of the 250cc season. He is currently only fifth in the championship, 47 points behind leader Alvaro Bautista, after a difficult start to his title defence.
"For now I want to think about this season," he said. "Not about the championship, because at the moment it looks very far away, but about the single races."