As we reported earlier this week, Ducati has allegedly handed Lorenzo a very generous monetary offer to ride for the Bologna team for the next two seasons, replacing the ill and questionable Casey Stoner. Reliable sources are now stating that Lorenzo and Marlboro/Ducati have come to a basic agreement, and that a deal could be announced at the Indianapolis GP.
Spanish paper, Motocuatro, is reporting that the deal between Jorge Lorenzo and Marlboro has been agreed to in principle, with the finer details of the contract still being ironed out. They also report that the figures being floated around would make Jorge Lorenzo the second highest paid rider in MotoGP, right behind current teammate Valentino Rossi.
This would therefore suggest the €7 million figure we quoted earlier as being in the ballpark of reality, and again nearly double what Fiat-Yamaha was willing to pay.
Also emerging in the news, is the apparent lack of concern Stoner had for his team regarding his decision to sit out the Brno, Indy, and San Marion GP’s. Apparently, the former champion did not consult anyone on the factory Ducati team, giving only a weeks notice of his decision. For tobacco sponsor Marlboro, this was the final straw in a long line of poor performances for the Australian outside of the race track.
Stoner has avoided and shirked his sponsorship duties, even sitting out post-race press conferences where he wasn’t a podium finisher. For a company like Marlboro, which foots a substantial part of Stoner’s salary, this lack of return on their investment must certainly be intolerable, and it begins to shape the understanding of why they would pay such a high price for Lorenzo. More on this as it unfolds.