Reigning MotoGP world champion Jorge Lorenzo rumoured for a possible switch to Ducati.
Reigning world champion and current Movistar Yamaha Factory Team rider Jorge Lorenzo has kick-started his 2016 on a high note. Having won the season-opening Qatar GP race just a fortnight ago, the Spaniard is on track with his title defence. However, his future with the factory Yamaha outfit remains uncertain.
Rumours have surfaced from the paddock that Lorenzo could make the switch to join the factory-backed Ducati Corse MotoGP outfit. Fuelling this is the fact that Lorenzo himself, and his management, remains coy about his future plans at the moment despite the fact that his contract with the Yamaha team is currently up for renewal.
Adding to this is the fact that the storied Italian outfit has reportedly set its sights in having Lorenzo on board. Fuelling this fire of speculation further was famed GP star and Yamaha brand ambassador Giacomo Agostini’s recent statement alleging that Ducati has already made a “super offer” for Lorenzo.
There is no secret that Lorenzo and his teammate Valentino Rossi aren’t getting along too well in the factory Yamaha garage. Tensions have risen over the last 12 months, most notable being the way Lorenzo lashed out against Rossi during last year’s Malaysian MotoGP race weekend.
What probably did not help Lorenzo was the fact that Rossi had already announced his two-year contract extension with the factory Yamaha team during the Qatar GP weekend – much to everyone’s surprise. Yamaha states that it sent the renewal offers for both riders at the same time, but Rossi was the first to respond back.
Rossi even egged Lorenzo during an interview by stating “it took a lot of balls” for Lorenzo to make the switch and even called him a coward if he didn’t.
Nevertheless, Yamaha has made it very clear that it is keen on retaining the three-time world champion in its roster. And it is also worth noting that Lorenzo’s riding style is a perfect match with the current version of the Yamaha YZR-M1 bike that has been updated with the new regulated electronics package and Michelin tyres – it would be a huge waste should he make the switch.
We’ll have to patiently wait and see how this pans out. Round 2 of the 2016 MotoGP season kicks off this weekend in Argentina and it appears Jorge Lorenzo is poised to continue his top form and defend his title rightfully in this weekend’s leg in South America.