The news is a bit obvious, but Lin Jarvis, the Managing Director of Yamaha Motor Racing, has confirmed that the factory MotoGP squad intends to retain the services of Jorge Lorenzo, and bring Ben Spies into the squad for the 2011 season.
The news comes on the heels of Valentino Rossi’s decision to move to Ducati for next season, and has been assumed to be a done deal once Rossi’s announcement was made public. This is however the first time that anyone at Yamaha has spoken about the team structure for next year in such a direct tone, likely because of the need to keep Rossi’s departure under wraps.
Jarvis had said earlier in the year that only riders who will be with the squad in 2011 would get a chance to ride the 2011 prototype bike during MotoGP’s testing session at Brno, which was held yesterday. Accordingly, we saw both Lorenzo and Spies taking to the carbon-clad bike, while Rossi was only allowed to test the 2010 YZR-M1 with an updated engine.
It’s not certain when Yamaha will officially announce its factory squad, but the word “soon” is used repeatedly in conjunction with that announcement. Given that the next GP stop is at Indianapolis in two weeks, and that the race is a home event for Ben Spies, it’s likely we’ll here confirmation of Lorenzo and Spies there, but nothing is for certain.