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Friday, September 23, 2011

HRC confident Andrea Dovizioso will sign for LCR Honda

HRC management are confident satellite team boss Lucio Cecchinello can successfully conclude lengthy negotiations with Andrea Dovizioso to prevent the Italian moving to rivals Yamaha.

Speculation is mounting that Dovizioso is closing on a deal with Cal Crutchlow’s Monster Yamaha Tech 3 squad after the French team made a formal offer to him during last weekend’s Motorland Aragon round in Spain.

Tech 3 also offered factory Suzuki rider Alvaro Bautista a ride in 2011 as it looks for a replacement for Colin Edwards, who will ride for the Forward Racing squad on a private 1000cc bike next season.

The offers to Dovizioso and Bautista suggest Irish rider Eugene Laverty might miss out on a YZR-M1 1000cc ride, with his lack of MotoGP experience counting against him.

Cecchinello is desperate to secure the services of Dovizioso after a disastrous 2011 campaign with current Moto2 world champion Toni Elias.

He is currently trying to secure factory support from Honda for Dovizioso and also convince his sponsors for additional investment to snare the former 125GP world champion, who is currently third in the premier class rankings.

The lease price of Honda’s RC213V machine has gone up significantly compared to the current 800cc RC212V machine, while the cost of purchasing the seamless shift gearbox for a satellite team is rumoured to be between 600,000 and 700,000 Euros.

But as it is unlikely Dovizioso will ever be handed the chance to move back to Honda’s official factory team, MCN understands he’s now looking at moving to build a future relationship with another manufacturer.

His manager Simone Batistella has spoken to Tech 3, Aspar Ducati and Suzuki but HRC boss Livio Suppo told MCN: “We know that Lucio’s first option is Dovi and we are trying to close this deal. It is not an easy task but we are trying our best to put this deal together.

"Hopefully Lucio’s partners will realise they have a big opportunity to make a big step next year after a difficult season. From HRC we are trying to help as much as possible on the technical side to provide him full support and I am hopeful we will be able to do it. Everybody is doing their best, including Andrea.”

source: MCN

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