Dani Pedrosa has announced he has reached a decision on his MotoGP future, and intends to reveal his plans in a press conference next Thursday at the Sachsenring.
Although the Spaniard has been strongly linked to the new Petronas-backed satellite Yamaha team set to join the grid in 2019, it’s thought retirement is now a serious option for Pedrosa.
The 32-year-old is in the midst of his worst start to a world championship campaign since his 125cc debut in 2001, having scored just 41 points in eight races – 99 fewer than Honda teammate Marc Marquez.
His best finishes this year have been a pair of fifth places at Le Mans and Barcelona, while he finished a lowly 15th in last weekend’s Dutch TT at Assen.
It was confirmed last month that Pedrosa will depart the works Honda team at the end of 2018 and that he will be replaced by Jorge Lorenzo.
“I have finally made a decision regarding my future,” wrote Pedrosa in a brief statement. “I want to be able to communicate it personally and to everyone at the same time.
“Therefore, at the Sachsenring I will hold a press conference to announce it. I hope that my decision to wait until then to make it public will be respected.”
Pedrosa has previously admitted that a lack of certainty about his future was impacting his on-track performances, while Marquez has suggested his teammate’s woes stem from a lack of motivation.
Should Pedrosa decide to hang up his leathers, it would open up an unexpected chance for another rider to line up alongside Franco Morbidelli on a satellite Yamaha next season.
Nieto Ducati rider Alvaro Bautista has said his chances of staying in MotoGP likely hinge on Pedrosa’s decision, while KTM’s Bradley Smith has also said he is targeting the ride, having lost his seat at the Austrian manufacturer to Johann Zarco for 2019.
However, it’s possible that another Valentino Rossi protege, Moto2 race winner Lorenzo Baldassarri, could end up getting the nod to join Morbidelli on the second Sepang-owned M1.