We’re happy to be the first to report that after much adieu, Jorge Lorenzo and Yamaha Motor Company have finally signed a one-year extension to Lorenzo’s current rider agreement, meaning the Spanish rider will ride next year again as Rossi’s teammate for Fiat-Yamaha.
With this news we can finally put to rest the issue of who would grab Lorezno for the 2010 season: Ducati, Honda, Yamaha, aliens, etc. While preferring to stay with Yamaha, Lorenzo had hoped to retain a contract that priced him at a more appropriate level for his on and off-track abilities. Happy to comply, Honda and Ducati were reportedly offering nearly double of what Yamaha is currently paying Jorge in terms of contract price. Talking about the contract extension, but not revealing any details Lorenzo said:
“I am very happy! Today is a good day because I have decided to remain with the Yamaha Factory Team in 2010. It was a very important decision and that’s why I have had to take the last few weeks to make it, but I think that this is the best decision for me in this moment. I want to thank Yamaha because they have always done everything that they have promised, and I especially would like to say thank you to Lin Jarvis and Masao Furusawa.”
With Lorenzo’s contract only set to renew for a single-season, and with Rossi likely out of MotoGP after next year, it leaves us wondering what sort of terms/promises Yamaha had to make in order to retain their talented #2 man. To us, we imagine more money, and a #1 spot in the team for 2011 being items that were tossed across the table, and you can count on some changes in Lorenzo’s favor will occur next year in the Fiat-Yamaha camp.
Lin Jarvis, Managing Director of Yamaha Motor Racing, shared Lorenzo’s excitement for signing for next year, and shows some insight to Lorenzo’s long-term involvement with Fiat-Yamaha in the coming seasons:
“We are obviously delighted that Jorge has decided to stay at Yamaha for the next season and we hope that he will remain at Yamaha for many years to come. Jorge has shown his talent, his ability to learn and to compete at the highest level with many excellent performances in 2008 and 2009. We have no doubt that he has the ability and drive to become MotoGP World Champion and we are proud that he has decided to remain with Yamaha, despite having received some very serious approaches from some of our competitors. This timely decision now allows us to focus on the present championship, where our riders are currently first and second, and to make definitive plans for our 2010 MotoGP program.”
Either way, a large portion of silly season has now concluded, and we can begin to wonder about what afflicts Casey Stoner, and when his army of Troll Overlords will bring their revenge.