Tokyo - Honda unleashed a thunderbolt in the MotoGp paddock on
Wednesday when they announced that triple world champion Jorge Lorenzo would be
joining them in place of another Spanish star, Dani Pedrosa.
"Honda Racing Corporation is pleased to announce the
signing of three-times MotoGP World Champion Jorge Lorenzo," the team said
in a press release. "The Spanish rider will join the Repsol Honda Team for
the next two years."
Lorenzo will form an impressive due with a third Spaniard,
Marc Marquez. Pedrosa revealed on Tuesday that he was leaving Honda.
"From 2019, Lorenzo will become team-mate to four-times
MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez: two great champions with great talent and
high hopes that will make a stronger team and contribute to the development of
HRC," the team said.
Media reports say Lorenzo's Honda contract is worth $4.7
million a season.
Lorenzo enjoyed great success in a decade with another
Japanese team, Yamaha, winning 44 races and was world champion in 2010, 2012
The 31-year-old has been less triumphant since moving to
Ducati at the start of last season. His victory at Mugello on Sunday was his
first for the Italian team in 24 races and came amid rumours that Ducati were
thinking of discarding him.
Lorenzo is only 10th in the MotoGp standings after six
races, 54 points behind the leader, Marquez. Pedrosa is 12th, 12 points further
Pedrosa, who is 32, has won 31 Grands Prix and finished
championship runner up three times.
Meanwhile, the Tech 3 team announced that it was extending
the contract of 24-year-old Malaysian rider Hafizh Syahrin, who is 16th in the
standings, for a season.