The Decision: Why Lorenzo Stuck With Yamaha

Henny Ray Abrams | June 14, 2012

SILVERSTONE, ENGLAND, JUNE 14 – Jorge Lorenzo weighed offers from Yamaha and Honda before making an emotional decision to stay with the team where he won the MotoGP World Championship in 2010.

At the pre-race press conference for this weekend’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone, Lorenzo said that it had “been difficult to take the decision, because this time I have an offer from another brand, from Honda. And to take the decision has been very tough. But finally I hear a little bit my heart and my heart say Yamaha. Just made a decision with my heart.”

That he made the decision only five races into the season caught some by surprise, especially since he could increase his value with each passing victory. Lorenzo downplayed wanting to draw out the process.

“Yes, normally it’s more time to sign,” he said. “In the last two times we spent more months, more races to take the decision, but this time it happened like that and I just say yes to Yamaha. For this reason I’ll be a little bit less worried for the next races, but not so much. I’ve always been very quiet in this sense.”

Silverstone was one of the races Lorenzo won en route to the 2010 crown, an overwhelming victory in a thrashing downpour. But in similar conditions last year he crashed, while Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner raced to victory.

“Yes, in 2010 I enjoyed a lot riding,” he said. “I feel very comfortable from the beginning. Maybe I made the perfect race in 2010. I won with the most advantage with the second rider, finished second, in the season. So I can say that this track is one of the big tracks that gives me more facility to go fast. But for the opposite also last year I crashed trying to catch Casey [Stoner] in the rain. So it’s a little bit sweet and sour, the feeling I have with this track.”

The forecast for this weekend is equally dire, with heavy rain predicted all weekend long.

“Yeah, it seems very bad and this is not a thing that makes me happy, make happy I think for everyone, but is the thing it is, so we are going to race with the weather it’s going to be,” he said. “So also on the rain have big point, something different, something strange. You have more possibilities to crash and this is I think is not very positive, but it’s also funny to race and to compete in the rain.”

Lorenzo tested twice following the last race in Catalunya, first in Catalunya and then at Aragon. Progress was made, but the decision was taken to race the same bike that he rode to victory in Montmelo.

“We didn’t find any big improvement,” he said. “We are working on it. In Aragon we try many laps to try to find some solutions for improve, but we didn’t get it. So for the moment the bike is, I think it’s quite good, quite competitive, so the engineers are working on it, but not getting the results still that I wanted. So keep patient, try to be focused to finish the race in the best positions possible and just wait for the improvements.”

Henny Ray Abrams | Contributing Editor

Abrams is the longest-serving contributor at Cycle News. Over the course of his 35-some years of writing and shooting photos, he’s covered events from MotoGP to the Motocross World Championship - and everything in between.