Jorge Lorenzo will move to Honda in 2019. File photo: Ducati.com

London - Three times MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo has signed a two-year deal to join Honda from 2019. The Repsol Honda works team announced on Wednesday that Lorenzo, currently with Ducati, would replace compatriot Dani Pedrosa as team-mate to four-times world champion Marc Marquez.

The irony is that Lorenzo posted his first victory since joining Ducati at the beginning of 2017 at the Italian Motorcycle Grand Prix on the Bologna team's home circuit of Mugello, just three days before the announcement of his move to Honda.

Lorenzo, 31, who is known as 'The Spartan' for his iron self-discipline and total lack of a sense of humour, won all three of his MotOGP world titles - in 2010, 2012 and 2015 - with Yamaha, after taking two consecutive 250cc world championships with Aprilia, in 2006 and 2007. He will be replaced at Ducati Team by satellite Pramac Ducati rider Danilo Petrucci.      

Pedrosa, by contrast, has spent his entire grand prix career with Honda, since his 125cc debut in 2001. He was 125cc champion in 2003 and took 250cc crowns in 2004 and 2005, but his MotoGP career has been plagued by injury and operations.

Nevertheless, he has won 31 Grands Prix with Honda and is a three times runner-up in MotoGP, but has yet to finish on the podium this year, however, and is currently 12th.