Despite being assured that it was likely the 2020 bike would be at Portimao, Jorge Lorenzo will ride the 2019 Yamaha.
Jorge Lorenzo will test the 2019 Yamaha at the circuit of Portimao instead of the 2020 M1 like expected, for Lorenzo this is disappointing as he was hired to be the Yamaha test rider for 2020 yet has only tested once at Sepang, also on the 2019 Yamaha. COVID-19 has put a stop to testing for the most part with Yamaha abandoning their test programme for most of the season.
Lorenzo was also forced to miss a wildcard at the Circuit of Catalunya due to the COVID-19 pandemic, costing Lorenzo and also Yamaha valuable bike time which could have dramatically improved the struggling 2020 M1 which has been complained about by every single rider with Quartararo unable to point out a single positive after the Styrian Grand Prix.
So instead of riding the 2020 bike, Lorenzo will ride the 2019 bike, when asked why he said, “I spoke with Maio [Meregalli] some weeks ago and he told me that probably they would have the 2020 bike here. But now, two hours ago, I entered the box and they just had the 2019 bike.
They told me that they didn’t have time to prepare the 2020 bike. It’s a pity not to have the same bike as the official bikes, but I guess they tried the maximum to get the new bike here and they couldn’t. So we will test what we have.”
Therefore Lorenzo is forced to test on the 2019 bike, which will still give Yamaha some good information about how they can make steps forwards, plus he will be able to supply the Yamaha riders with data to form a base set up when they arrive to the track in November, “It’ll be important not to make any stupid mistakes at the beginning, try to make a lot of kilometres and give the maximum information to Yamaha for the official riders in the race here.”
This week will mark Lorenzo’s third ride on a MotoGP bike this year following his two-day test, Yamaha originally expected a 15-16 day programme which as explained, has not materialised.
“I want to believe and I really believe that they tried their best to do the maximum tests possible, but just the circumstances of COVID for some reasons stopped this from happening.”
“I believe without COVID we would have the 15-16 days that we planned to do. But I don’t believe they are wasting, especially on purpose, their test rider because I think economically speaking they can be the factory that spent more money on it. So it’s not logical to think like that.”
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