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GP Week : Issue 62
Moto GP news >> Honda does the deal with Pedrosa, Dovi THE waiting is over for confirmation of the deal that HRC announced prematurely at Brno -- that Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso will stay with the factory team next year. The official announcement officially drew the line under fevered speculation that Pedrosa might make a move to Ducati, or that the inclusion of his controversial manager Alberto Puig in the team was a stumbling block. Puig will stay with the team, HRC vice-president Shuhei Nakamoto confirmed. Pedrosa's contract is for one year; Dovizioso's had an option for 2011 as well. Further important details are to be confirmed -- including the continued Repsol sponsorship, though Nakamoto said that they were close to finalising the agreement. Nakamoto could not say whether the team would switch to Öhlins suspension, as used by Dovizioso this weekend. "We are challengers now, and not the leaders ... so we have to try every possibility," he said. Honda switches to Öhlins for Dovizioso ANDREA Dovizioso switched to Öhlins suspension at Misano, and will use the gold- finished Swedish front forks and rear unit for the rest of the season. Dani Pedrosa preferred to stick with what he knows, the long-established Showa suspension, after his own tests after Brno were cut short by bad weather. The Italian rider had good reports from the start: "The feeling was immediately good, like at Brno," he said after qualifying. "But this is the first weekend so we still have alotofworktodo. "The suspension controls the bike better during straight braking and the position of the bike is better entering corners. The suspension is smoother, so the movement of the bike is smoother. As for the rear shock, there are some good points and bad points. At Brno I found more grip, but here we need to find a solution to control the slides." Honda has always used Showa suspension, made by a subsidiary company; while the rest of the grid uses Öhlins, which until last year was owned by Yamaha. Now, however, the founder Kent Öhlins has bought back a controlling interest, removing this political block from the move. HRC hope that the Öhlins forks will solve a problem with front tyre wear, as well as the front-end crashes that both riders have suffered this year. The Öhlins are thought to perform better when compressed, improving braking performance. 11