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Jorge Lorenzo Signs Two-Year Contract Extension with Yamaha MotoGP Team

Certainly the most valuable free agent for next year, particularly in light of the retirement of Casey Stoner from Honda, Jorge Lorenzo undoubtedly had massive negotiating leverage when bargaining for his services for the 2013 series. Yamaha has announced today that it has successfully negotiated a two-year extension of its relationship with Lorenzo, through the 2014 season. Here is the press release received by MD:

It is with great pleasure that Yamaha Motor Co. Ltd can confirm the extension of Jorge Lorenzo’s contract to ride for the Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP Team for 2013 and 2014.

Jorge Lorenzo joined Yamaha in 2008, achieving fourth place in his first season and claiming the Rookie of the Year title. He was then second in 2009, went on to become MotoGP World Champion in 2010 and was second again in 2011.

Lorenzo currently leads the 2012 MotoGP Championship by 20 points having taken three victories from the first five completed races of the 18 race series.

Jorge Lorenzo

“I am extremely happy to have signed with Yamaha for two more years. They’ve made great efforts to retain me in the factory team so I want to thank all those involved at Yamaha for this. I’ve been treated like part of the Yamaha family since 2008 and I love working with them. It has always been my first option to stay here and so I’m happy that this important negotiation has finished with such a positive outcome. Now I can focus on the Championship and I’m looking forward to paying back Yamaha’s trust in me starting at Silverstone this weekend. I look forward to winning many more Championships together; my dream to finish my career with Yamaha is now closer to becoming a reality!”

Lin Jarvis
Yamaha Motor Racing Managing Director

“This is excellent news for Yamaha and for the Yamaha Factory Racing Team,” commented Lin Jarvis. Jorge has been with us since 2008 and achieved superb results in the first four years, the highlight being his World Championship victory in 2010. He’s currently on top form having won three of the first five GP races and finishing second in the other two. Jorge’s contract extension allows both him and Yamaha to concentrate 100% on this year’s Championship challenge without any distractions and also to make future plans together to further strengthen the winning partnership.”

16 Comments

  1. HotDog says:

    Jorge is smooth, calculating and fun to watch. Ben could end up working on Casey’s sheep ranch, if he continues his ways. Could it be that #34 is going to run a Suzuki team next year and Ben isn’t focusing on his current ride? I’d say Dovi to the 2nd seat on Yamaha, Dani and Bradl on the Honda, Crutch to Duc pairing with Nick, Rossi to Tech 3 along with a new young pup. After all of that, may I add that Dorna is sofficating the sport with oppressive rules and regulations. It doesn’t look good for the protype league.

    • Norm G. says:

      3 things. ben’s too smart to ride a grandprix suzuki, cal’s (despite his comments) too smart to leave T3 and go ride a grandprix ducati, and if factory yamaha doesn’t have the cash for rossi and co…? then poncharal sure as hell doesn’t either.

    • Dave says:

      “may I add that Dorna is sofficating the sport with oppressive rules and regulations. It doesn’t look good for the protype league”

      You may but I think you’d be wrong. Nobody can afford (or is willing to) to race the way it was and there were only 12-14 bikes on the grid last year. Their choice was change or close shop. Change=cost control. Cost control=rules.

      It’s working in Moto 2, grid is full (showing that sponsors still want to race), racing is great and nobody cares that they’re not looking at a Yamaha, Honda, Kawasaki, etc.

      • Brian says:

        Rossi to Gresini seems to be the strongest opinion at this time. That leaves Ben??? no good guess from me on that one unless he can do something to salvage his season in the next 3-4 races, of course it may be too late. Worst decision was for Tech 3 to give B Smith an agreement in advance to come to GP next season. and Crutchlow sounds keen to Ducati, but if I were him, stick with the Tech 3 team. I see Bradl to Repsol with Pedrosa. Rossi to Gresini. Dovi/Crutchlow to Factory Yamaha, Marquez to LCR unless they wipe out the rookie rule, and Ben joins Nicky at Ducati… totally baseless opinions of course

  2. Joey Wilson says:

    Congratulations to Jorge. I will never forget seeing him very emotionally speaking to Simoncelli’s parents at the funeral, apologizing for the words they’d had previously. A very class act by a good man. Here’s to ‘Ya !

  3. ReflexTowing says:

    As someone posted on another site, it might be possible to see Rossi form his own satellite team with someone (say Fiat) as a sponsor… could run a factory Honda too, and save everyone face. Interesting theory.

    Ben had better do well at Silverstone. That’s all I’m saying.

  4. Ricardo says:

    What about Spies? is he getting a contract extension? with his current performance I doubt it.
    Rossi needs to step up and make the Ducati team improve his bike, everyone seems to forget that it was him and his tunner that improved the Yamaha to where it is today, Lorenzo would not have been where he is today if it was not for Rossi’s development of the M1, my two cents.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “everyone seems to forget that it was him and his tunner that improved the Yamaha to where it is today”

      not me…!!!

  5. craigj says:

    A snowball’s chance in Hell that Rossi goes to Honda or gets works equivilent on a satellite team. Apparently Big Red really knows how to hold a grudge. He’s not going to play #2 to Jorge at Yamaha … so that leaves a still far from competitive Ducati, or retire. I vote for the later.

    • Dave says:

      Grudges are short lived and only matter when it’s the guy who holds the checkbook (and the grudge). If Honda decides that Rossi is the best challenger then the grudge will dissolve. Repsol and Honda corporate will not allow their factory effort to fall to 2nd tier, they’d sooner quit so it depends on who’s available to fill the seat next year.

    • Norm G. says:

      agree with the dave. i don’t think honda cares a lick about grudges. that’s a behavior characteristic of a dysfunctional individual, NOT a corporation. when you’re a company as large and as public as HMC, these aren’t the kind of “bad practices” you get to enjoy as policy. now repsol on the other hand…?

      more than any grudge, honda knows the state of the economy, the pathetic state of the niche business of motorcycling, and the how much control they’ve worked to gain over it’s related spin-off (the sub niche motogp) the past decade. now their star rider has flipped them (and everyone else) the bird, so let’s just say there have been more than a few panic’d phone calls between the powers at dorna to the powers at honda.

      not to say that i’ll happen, but carmelo knows there’s only 1 company at the moment that can afford the salaries of “the rossi collective” AND simultaneously afford to give him competitive kit… and that’s honda… ie. the official engine supplier propping up moto2 (how convenient). see there’s much bigger picture here in need of framing.

  6. Patrick D says:

    I think that Honda have got to have Rossi to challenge Jorge and Yamaha. Even casey is going to have to be near faultless to challenge him at the top this year and the recent tyre issue gives to upper hand to the Yamaha camp.
    Maybe Rossi will get a works bike in his old friend Simoncelli’s Gresini team?

  7. Brian says:

    Dani let’s out a sigh of relief…

  8. Tim says:

    I would love to see Rossi get Stoner’s spot with Honda next year. I’m far from certain he could be competitive with Lorenzo, but I would love to see him retire on a bike that gives him a chance.

    Lorenzo is worth every penny. For my money he is the best out there right now, even better than Stoner, and that’s saying a lot.

  9. mickey says:

    Cool. Bet that’s a handsome check!