With Jorge Lorenzo’s contract up at the end of this season, rumors are beginning to make their way through the MotoGP paddock about where the Spaniard will be racing next season. While Lorenzo has stated he would prefer to stay at Yamaha, he has also stated that he “knows what he’s worth.” For anyone playing MotoGP silly season, that’s an open invitation to assume that offers from Honda could have potential of becoming true.
Yamaha boss Masao Furusawa has made the factory’s position clear stating that Yamaha is keen to hold on to Lorenzo, but not at any price. Commenting about a bid from Honda, Furusawa said, “We know about Honda’s offer. If he [Lorenzo] wants to go with them, we won’t be raising our stakes in order to retain him.”
It’s smart negotiating tactics, but also risky. Yamaha is unlikely able to compete with Honda with their checkbook, but is still the bike riders prefer to be on come race day. In weighing his options, Jorge Lorenzo will have to decide if he wants to be on the best machinery, or nearly double his paycheck.
With Repsol Honda currently still committing themselves to Dani Pedrosa, it seems hard for Honda to be recruiting another Spaniard to appease Spanish Oil Company Repsol, especially when they’ve publicly stated that their poor results lately have been due to the bike, not the rider. The solution would then seem to be in Spanish telecom giant, Telefonica, which is looking to get back into MotoGP.
Telefonica allegedly would build a one man team around Lorenzo, with full HRC backing. Telefonica’s interest in Lorenzo would seem to be genuine on its face, as the team would like nothing better than to beat Pedrosa and Repsol on the same machine. Telefonica left MotoGP after being left-out in the cold by Dani Pedrosa, the rider they groomed and supported alongside of Sete Gibernau, but who also later jumped ship to Repsol, causing Telefonica to retire from the series.
We don’t foresee Lorenzo moving himself over to the Honda camp, but you have to admit, this rumor brings its all: new sponsors, rider rivalries, team rivalries, and lot’s of dollars.
Source: MotoGP Matters