MotoGP: Jorge Lorenzo: “I would never have imagined Rossi with Petronas”

Jorge Lorenzo has spoken about Rossi joining the Petronas satellite Yamaha team saying it surprised him.

In an interview with Sky Sports IT, 5 x World Champion Jorge Lorenzo spoke about Yamaha and also Valentino Rossi. The 3 x MotoGP class champion won all 3 of his titles for Yamaha and is only one of 2 riders to be able to win a World Championship on the M1. He feels that since he left Yamaha for Ducati in 2017 the bike is not as ‘complete’ as it was, we have seen this be proven with the factory team struggling to achieve the same results that they did when Lorenzo raced for them, these results included a 1-2 in the 2015 championship standings and Lorenzo being Marc Marquez’s biggest headache year after year.

When Lorenzo moved to Ducati he was replaced by Maverick Vinales who despite having a strong start to 2017, he has been unable to hit the same level of competitiveness as Lorenzo once did. Fast forward to 2020 and it’s not uncommon for the Yamaha riders to complain of various issues with their motorcycle, whether it be the engine, how it feels to ride or the brakes not working, it never seems to be right, whereas when Lorenzo raced for them and aided the development it was a ‘complete’ motorcycle according to the man himself.

Speaking on this change he said, “I have always been a very sensitive rider, since I was a child because my father made me ride many different bikes and therefore I was able to adapt quickly, understanding what worked and what didn’t, I’ve always had this ability. 

Yamaha relied on me in the last few years when I was there; we made a very good bike that is easy to ride, intuitive. When I went to Ducati, other riders took care of the evolution of the bike, I cannot make a comparison but I certainly believe that Yamaha was the most complete bike when I was racing in the team.”

He also commented on Yamaha moving Valentino Rossi to the satellite Petronas team who have been incredibly competitive with Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo taking three wins each in 2020 in the team. Originally Valentino Rossi was offered the factory ride but decided to wait and make a decision instead of rushing to sign, he wanted to know if he was competitive and still wanted to ride. The issue for Yamaha is that Ducati and other teams were sniffing at Maverick Vinales and Fabio Quartararo, therefore a decision had to be made and it had to be made fast to secure these riders whilst Rossi was mulling over his future,

The decision was made by Yamaha to offer Maverick Vinales and Fabio Quartararo a contract, Fabio at just 21 years old is deemed to be Yamaha’s ‘future’ and already showed a lot of promise in the 2019 season, so instead of letting the competition snap them up Yamaha offered the duo contracts in the factory team.

Both riders signed the contracts very early on into the year and Rossi was pushed out of the factory team, but was given an offer stating that if he wanted to continue he could remain with Yamaha with full factory support. Following months and months of discussion, it was finally confirmed that Rossi would ride for the Petronas team donning the colours which have outperformed the factory team in 2020.

Lorenzo was surprised by this decision but feels that it will not change too much for the Italian 9 x champion, he said, “I was surprised by Yamaha’s decision to have Rossi compete in a satellite team like Petronas, I would never have imagined it, but at the same time I think he won’t change much for him, he will do well.

We have seen the excellent results achieved by Quartararo and Morbidelli, the bike is competitive and in the end, Yamaha has to do like all the other teams: look to the future. When I started with them in 2008 they had to look for a plan B in case of Valentino’s departure and they chose a young driver like me. The future passes for the youngest riders, choosing Quartararo is a logical choice”.

Source – Sky Sports IT

Featured image – www.motogp.com