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Well, we told you earlier today that the Maverick Vinales deal was done, and that an official statement is going to be made on Thursday – now here’s the first official part of the bigger-picture that the Vinales decision has influenced. Dani Pedrosa is now confirmed to be staying at Honda until the end of 2018. Pedrosa was a rider in the mix to take the Yamaha seat vacated by Jorge Lorenzo at the end of this year, the other rider in the mix was Vinales.

So Pedrosa at Honda. Here’s the official announcement:

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Dani Pedrosa will continue with the Repsol Honda Team in both 2017 and 2018, extending their relationship in the premier class to 13 years.

Honda Racing Corporation is pleased to announce the renewal of its contract with Dani Pedrosa for an additional two years. Both parties are pleased to reach the agreement ahead of this weekend’s Grand Prix, which will be the 30-year-old Spanish rider’s 250th in the World Championship.

Pedrosa has been a Honda rider for his entire career, beginning with his 2001 Grand Prix debut in the then 125cc class. A 125cc and double 250cc World Champion, Pedrosa entered MotoGP with the Repsol Honda Team in 2006 and has finished title runner-up on three occasions (2007, 2010, 2012) and third an additional three times (2008, 2009, 2013). He has achieved more podium finishes for the Honda factory than any other rider, with a total of 142, including 51 victories, just three fewer than Mick Doohan’s Honda record.

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Pedrosa heads to this weekend’s Italian GP sitting fourth in the Rider’s Championship.

Dani Pedrosa: “I’m very happy to be able to announce my renewal with the Repsol Honda Team. I’m very grateful to Honda for the trust they’ve shown in renewing with me for an additional two years. I think it’s best for me to continue with the company I was with at my very first race. I’m happy that the negotiations have been quick, and now I can just focus on racing. I want to give 100% this weekend at the Italian GP.”

Shuhei Nakamoto: “We’re very pleased to renew our contract with Dani, and we really appreciate his loyalty to Honda and HRC. We’ve been working together for many years, but we always see in Dani the same passion and dedication. His experience is very important for helping our technicians to develop our bike, and we’ll do our best to help him to demonstrate all his talent!”

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Tony Carter

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