Lorenzo to replace Pedrosa in Honda

PARIS - Honda unleashed a thunderbolt in the MotoGP paddock when they announced that triple world champion Jorge Lorenzo would be joining them in place of another Spanish star, Dani Pedrosa. "Honda Racing Corporation is pleased to announce the signing of three-times MotoGP World Champion Jorge Lorenzo," the team said in a press release. "The Spanish rider will join the Repsol Honda Team for the next two years." Lorenzo will form an impressive due with a third Spaniard, Marc Marquez. Pedrosa revealed on Tuesday that he was leaving Honda. "From 2019, Lorenzo will become teammate to four times MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez: two great champions with great talent and high hopes that will make a stronger team and contribute to the development of HRC," the team said.–AFP

Murray out of Wimbledon warm-up event

LONDON - Andy Murray's hopes of being fit enough to play at Wimbledon have taken a fresh hit after he pulled out of his planned comeback next week in the Netherlands. The former world No 1, who has not played a competitive match since he was knocked out of the Wimbledon quarterfinals last July due to a hip injury, underwent surgery in Australia in January after pulling out of Australian Open. "Unfortunately I won't be ready to play in Hertogenbosch," he said. "I was really excited to play there for the first time but I'm still not quite ready to return. I am still aiming to play in the coming weeks, but I want to be 100 percent when I do return. Thanks as always for the support." Having only just returned to practice courts, Murray faces a race against time to be fit for Wimbledon, which starts on July 2.–AFP

Man United complete signing of Dalot

LONDON - Portuguese full-back Diogo Dalot became Manchester United's second major signing in two days the English giants announced on Wednesday after securing a 22 million euro (£19 million) move from Porto. Dalot, 19, has signed "a five-year contract, with an option to extend for a further year", United said in a statement. Brazilian international midfielder Fred joined United from Shakhtar Donetsk for a reported fee of just over £50 million on Tuesday. United are aiming to close the gap on Manchester City, who won the Premier League by a record 19 points from their local rivals. Despite only making his senior Porto debut in February, Dalot has been hailed by United manager Jose Mourinho, who made his name as a coach with Porto, as the best full-back in Europe of his age.–AFP

Henderson keen to move on from CL blow

BURTON-ON-TRENT - Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson believes a quick turnaround from defeat in the Champions League final to representing England at the World Cup can ease the pain of defeat to Real Madrid in Kiev. Two huge goalkeeping errors from Loris Karius and a spectacular overhead kick from Gareth Bale prevented Henderson from lifting his first trophy since replacing Steven Gerrard as skipper at Anfield in a 3-1 defeat on May 26. "It's been difficult over the last 10 days. It was hard to take," Henderson said. "I've had a little bit of time off and time with the family, which was important. It was good to get my head around it and have some downtime to refocus on what is important and that is the World Cup now. "That is where the focus has got to be. It’s good that I get straight back to business."–AFP