Rossi, Viñales and Jarvis talk about the future of the Spaniard and his potential move to Yamaha in 2019
Dani Pedrosa’s (Repsol Honda Team) MotoGP future remains uncertain after it was announced HRC and the Spaniard would end their relationship by mutual agreement at the end of this season.
However, as well as retirement, the three-time World Champion has been heavily linked with a potential move to an Independent Team Yamaha seat, if a deal with Petronas and the Japanese manufacturer are rumoured to be true.
Speaking at the Catalan GP, Yamaha team boss Lin Jarvis gave an update on the current situation with the Independent Yamaha team, a slot that is being vacated by the KTM-bound Tech 3 team. “Let’s say the situation is not confirmed yet, but I would say talks are progressing very well and I’m optimistic that we’ll find a good solution. So hopefully within the next couple of weeks even, hopefully there might be some positive news about plans for 2019 and beyond
Jarvis then spoke about the possibility of Pedrosa joining the Petronas-backed Yamaha team, saying he’s “always been curious” about seeing the number 26 on a Yamaha.
“To see Dani on one of them? Dani’s situation, this is something new that has come up in the last two weeks. I mean, if Dani is available and is keen to ride a satellite Yamaha, it would be a really positive thing and a pleasure for Yamaha to see that.”
He continued, “personally, I’ve always been very curious to see how Dani would go on a Yamaha, and we’ve had some discussions in previous years as well whenever you’re looking for riders, and it’s always been kind of a curiosity in my mind. So, if Dani would finally be one of the riders, I think myself and Yamaha would be only happy to see that.”
Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) also spoke highly of the 32-year-old when the riders were asked about Pedrosa in the pre-event Press Conference in Barcelona, with the Italian wanting to see the ‘Little Samurai’ stay in MotoGP.
“I saw a lot of people in Dani’s press conference so maybe I thought that he would stop and I was quite sad because I think he is one of the strongest in MotoGP and sincerely speaking, a hard rival of mine for a long time, since 2006,” said the nine-time World Champion. “I’ll be very happy if he continues, for sure, whether it’s with Yamaha or sincerely I don’t know his options but it’s good for him and the Championship to have Dani on the grid.”
Likewise, fellow Movistar Yamaha MotoGP rider Maverick Viñales commented on his compatriot’s prospects with the Yamaha when speaking to Spanish TV broadcaster Movistar at Catalunya. “A satellite Yamaha would be good if it was a Yamaha like ours, because in the end, Dani is a great rider with many years of experience and I believe that he could bring that to us. Dani could bring information about the bike and, at the moment, the bike isn’t where it should be.”
So, will we see Pedrosa’s famous number 26 printed on the front of an Independent Team Yamaha M1 in 2019 and beyond? Only time will tell, but the positivity surrounding the move makes it a mouthwatering proposition to an already fascinating 2019 MotoGP grid.