Final decision to be made in 2-3 weeks
HRC wants Andrea Dovizioso to remain on a Honda next year that they have asked Lucio Cecchinelli to do everything possible to include the Italian in the LCR team in 2012.
Doviszioso has remained loyal to Honda since the early years of his Grand Prix career, including winning the 125GP championship in 2004. "Well, the leaders of HRC have asked me to do everything and more to organise a team for Dovizioso," Cecchinelli said on Moto.it, "It is a project we're working on, but that requires a greater financial commitment."
Having a dismal year so far with Toni Elias, he said: "Meanwhile, we are focussed on trying to straighten out the difficult season we are experiencing. That said, thinking of 2012 when you work with a company like Honda, the pilot did not choose to be alone, but of course you have to agree with the HRC."
Dovi has not been offered a factory RC213V, as that seems to be going to Marco Simoncelli - if they can agree on the contract - despite Andrea outperforming the Gresini rider this season, he currently sits in third in the championship with a chance of taking second from Jorge Lorenzo compared to the ninth in the table for Simoncelli.
Instead HRC are willing to give a bike that isn't unlike the top-spec prototype machines, at the start of the season the technical specifications for all the Honda 1000s are expected to be fairly similar and throughout the season they will ensure that Dovi's bike is constantly updated by the factory.
However, as noted by Andrea himself, this would be a step backwards for the Italian. The goal for finalising the deal was originally set for the end of August but has been given a further 2-3 weeks given that this is an 'exceptional case'.
Should the deal fail an alternative appears to be John Hopkins and a name thrown out by Lucio to persuade Dovi to lower his fee, the Anglo-American is liked by Cecchinello as a talent - having impressed the team manager with his displays in BSB and the wildcard rides for Rizla Suzuki in MotoGP.
Commenting on the status of their RCV for 2012, Lucio added: "Honda is still defining the technical specifications of the bike: for what I know, the RCV will be all the same beginning.
"Then development will start in winter testing, with pieces that will be tested by the two riders and when the pieces are approved, they will come for Dovizioso and Simoncelli, should they be part of Honda's programs.
So, I can not say that we have a factory bike to 100%, but half that with a couple of weeks later than the internal team will have all the necessary updates."
Reportedly one of the reasons why Honda have overlooked Dovi for a factory bike and chosen SuperSic is that they believe the former has plateaued whereas the hairy-one is still on the rise. Have they made the right decision?
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