Lorenzo Signs With Yamaha

Paul Carruthers | August 25, 2009

Jorge Lorenzo closed the book on one of the final chapters of this year’s MotoGP silly season with today’s announcement that he has signed a one-year extension with Yamaha to stay on the factory team alongside Valentino Rossi.Lorenzo, who currently lies second in the MotoGP World Championship behind Rossi, was being wooed by the Marlboro Ducati team and had also been in discussion with Honda. The signing keeps a spot open at Ducati with Dani Pedrosa now likely to go ahead and sign the Honda contract that has been awaiting his signature. He’ll be joined there by his current teammate Andrea Dovizioso.The Lorenzo signing also means that Colin Edwards won’t be moving up to the factory team from the Tech 3 Yamaha team.”I don’t really know what it means for me,” Edwards said this morning. “I think he [Lorenzo] made the right decision and I guess I’ll go back to Tech 3, which is really where I wanted to stay anyway. We’ll see what they come up with. I really don’t stress about this stuff anymore. At the end of the day you’ve got to wait for people to make decisions and those decisions are based on a lot of different things. I think we’ll know what’s going on this weekend because we’ve got some top brass coming in for the race. I think it’s cool and I think Lorenzo definitely made the right decision to stay at Yamaha.”Reportedly, Lorenzo took less pay to stay with Yamaha than what he was being offered to try his hand on the factory Ducati.”I am very happy,” Lorenzo said in a team release. “Today is a good day because I have decided to remain with the Yamaha factory team in 2010. It was a very important decision and that’s why I have had to take the last few weeks to make it, but I think that this is the best decision for me in this moment. I want to thank Yamaha because they have always done everything that they have promised, and I especially would like to say thank you to Lin Jarvis and Masao Furusawa.”With Yamaha likely to hold on to the top two spots in this year’s championship, they’ll go into 2010 with the top two riders in the series.”We are obviously delighted that Jorge has decided to stay at Yamaha for the next season and we hope that he will remain at Yamaha for many years to come,” said Lin Jarvis, managing director of Yamaha Motor Racing. “Jorge has shown his talent, his ability to learn and to compete at the highest level with many excellent performances in 2008 and 2009. We have no doubt that he has the ability and drive to become MotoGP World Champion and we are proud that he has decided to remain with Yamaha, despite having received some very serious approaches from some of our competitors. This timely decision now allows us to focus on the present championship, where our riders are currently first and second, and to make definitive plans for our 2010 MotoGP program.”

Paul Carruthers | Editor

Paul Carruthers took over as the editor of Cycle News in 1993 after serving as associate editor since starting his career at the publication in 1985. Carruthers has covered every facet of the sport in his near-28-year tenure at America's Daily Motorcycle News Source.