Yamaha’s MotoGP program continues to dominate the headlines this week, first by signing Maverick Viñales to an astounding three-year contract, and then by booting Valentino Rossi from the factory team in order to make way for Fabio Quartararo.
Now, the Japanese motorcycle maker is making another big announcement, though this one has been brewing for a bit: Jorge Lorenzo will take on the role as Yamaha’s MotoGP test rider.
The news brings Lorenzo back to the outfit that helped propel him to three world titles in the MotoGP category, and more importantly it lets the Spaniard continue to ride a grand prix machine, without the stress and rigors that come from racing.
For Yamaha, they get an experienced hand on the handlebars, as they try to develop the Yamaha YZR-M1 in a championship-winning machine once again, which helps them protect their investment in their current team shake-up.
Jorge Lorenzo is set to take on the role, starting with the upcoming MotoGP test in Sepang next week. Right now there are no plans to have Lorenzo wild card races in the 2020 season, but Yamaha hasn’t ruled that option out, and says that it leaves the decision in Jorge’s hands.
“I‘m very happy with the decision to join the Yamaha Factory Test Team,” said Jorge Lorenzo. “I was always planning on staying involved in MotoGP and returning to the paddock, and I think this is a suitable role for me. I know the team and the M1 well. The Yamaha really suited my riding style, and it will be very interesting to ’meet up with my old bike again‘.”
“Returning to Yamaha brings with it some good memories. We secured many podiums and victories, and three titles together, so we know where our strengths lie. I want to thank Yamaha for this opportunity, because this allows me to do what I love – riding motorbikes and pushing the limit – whilst enjoying a slightly calmer lifestyle than I did in previous years.”
“I‘m very motivated to get to work and can‘t wait to start riding. I want to do my best for Yamaha‘s future, and I hope my riding experience will be helpful to Yamaha‘s engineers and riders to bring the title back to Yamaha.”
The real winner though is all the MotoGP fans that follow Jorge Lorenzo on Instagram, as they can continue to enjoy the Spaniard’s epic workout stories and the bevy of shirtless photos that they produce.
Source: Yamaha Racing