Lorenzo returns to Yamaha as test rider

Retired MotoGP world champion Jorge Lorenzo will return to Yamaha in 2020 after agreeing a deal to become its official test rider.

Lorenzo returns to Yamaha as test rider

Lorenzo won all three of his MotoGP titles with Yamaha, with whom he made his debut in 2008 and remained for nine years until ’16, before departing for Ducati and then making an ill-fated move to Honda last season.

Struggling to adapt to the RC213V, an injury-hit Lorenzo opted to call time on his career at the end of the year, having become demotivated during his barren spell on the Honda.

Motorsport.com reported in the winter that Lorenzo had been offered a deal by Yamaha, with official confirmation coming on Thursday.

The three-time champion will make his return to the M1 bike in the shakedown test at Sepang on February 2-4, and will have a programme comprised of official and private testing over the rest of the campaign.

“When we knew that Jorge would stop his active racing career, we immediately started to consider making a proposal for him to join us," Yamaha director Lin Jarvis said.

"The statistics of his achievements with us in those nine years together speak for themselves. He is a vastly experienced MotoGP rider, who is closely familiar with the M1 and the people at Yamaha.

"We have come to know Jorge as a very precise and motivated rider, with flawless consistency and good technical insight: all the qualities you need in a test rider at this high level."

 

Lorenzo follows in the footsteps of the likes of Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner, who moved into high-profiled test roles with KTM and Honda/Ducati respectively.

Yamaha has overhauled its test team for 2020, having split it into a Japanese and European team last year, with former Tech 3 rider Jonas Folger helming the latter.

The Japanese marque will now operate a unified test team operation, with the Japanese test team of Kohta Nozane and Katsuyuki Nakasuga carrying out programmes across the globe alongside Lorenzo.

Check out our MotoGP podcast...

 

Lorenzo will work closely with former Valentino Rossi crew chief Silvano Galbusera, who looked set to work with Johann Zarco as Yamaha test rider before he went to LCR for the final three races of 2019.

"I was always planning on staying involved in MotoGP and returning to the paddock, and I think this is a suitable role for me," Lorenzo said.

"I know the team and the M1 well. The Yamaha really suited my riding style, and it will be very interesting to ’meet up with my old bike again‘.

"I want to thank Yamaha for this opportunity, because this allows me to do what I love – riding motorbikes and pushing the limit – whilst enjoying a slightly calmer lifestyle than I did in previous years."

Yamaha announced on Wednesday that Fabio Quartararo will join Maverick Vinales in its factory team for 2021-22, replacing Rossi.

Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Yamaha MotoGP

shares
comments
Rossi explains why he didn't commit to early Yamaha deal
Previous article

Rossi explains why he didn't commit to early Yamaha deal

Next article

Marquez rides bike for first time since surgery

Marquez rides bike for first time since surgery
How in-form Quartararo is evoking Marquez in MotoGP 2022 Prime

How in-form Quartararo is evoking Marquez in MotoGP 2022

OPINION: Fabio Quartararo has seized control of the 2022 MotoGP world standings after another dominant victory as his nearest rivals faltered. And he is very much heading towards a second championship echoing how the dominator of the last decade achieved much of his success.

MotoGP
Jun 20, 2022
Why Marquez's surgery is about more than just chasing on-track success Prime

Why Marquez's surgery is about more than just chasing on-track success

OPINION: Marc Marquez will likely sit out the remainder of the 2022 MotoGP season to undergo a fourth major operation on the right arm he badly broke in 2020. It is hoped it will return him to his brilliant best after a tough start to the season without a podium to his name. But it’s the human victory that will far outweigh any future on-track success he may go on to have

MotoGP
May 31, 2022
Why Ducati holds all the power in its MotoGP rider dilemma Prime

Why Ducati holds all the power in its MotoGP rider dilemma

OPINION: The French Grand Prix looks to have made Ducati’s decision on its factory team line-up simpler, as Enea Bastianini stormed to his third win of the campaign and Jorge Martin crashed out for a fifth time in 2022. But, as Ducati suggests to Motorsport.com, it remains in the strongest position in a wild rider market

MotoGP
May 16, 2022
The seismic aftershock of Suzuki's decision to leave MotoGP Prime

The seismic aftershock of Suzuki's decision to leave MotoGP

Suzuki's sudden decision to leave the MotoGP World Championship at the end of the season has acted as a stirring element in a market that had already erupted. We analyse what this means for the grid going into 2023

MotoGP
May 11, 2022
How the real Ducati began to emerge in MotoGP's Spanish GP Prime

How the real Ducati began to emerge in MotoGP's Spanish GP

Ducati’s 2022 MotoGP bike has had a tough start to life and the expected early-season title charge from Francesco Bagnaia did not materialise. But the Spanish Grand Prix signalled a turning point for both the GP22 and Bagnaia, as the 2021 runner-up belatedly got his season underway after a straight fight with Fabio Quartararo

MotoGP
May 2, 2022
How praise for Honda's MotoGP bike has given way to doubt Prime

How praise for Honda's MotoGP bike has given way to doubt

In a little over two months, Honda has gone from setting the pace in MotoGP testing with its new RC213V prototype to being at a crossroads - caused by the discrepancy in its riders' feedback. After a Portuguese GP that underwhelmed, serious questions are now being asked of Honda in 2022

MotoGP
Apr 26, 2022
Why Quartararo's win was vital not only for his title hopes Prime

Why Quartararo's win was vital not only for his title hopes

Fabio Quartararo got his MotoGP title defence off the ground in the Portuguese Grand Prix as a dominant first win of 2022 rocketed him to the top of the standings. While a significant result in terms of his title hopes, it has come at an even more important time in terms of his 2023 contract negotiations

MotoGP
Apr 25, 2022
The MotoGP rookie fighting two fronts in his debut year Prime

The MotoGP rookie fighting two fronts in his debut year

Darryn Binder has found himself in the unenviable position as MotoGP's most under-pressure rookie in 2022 having made the step directly from Moto3 with a reputation as an over-aggressive rider. This hasn't been an easy thing to shake at the start of the season, but he believes tangible progress is being made

MotoGP
Apr 18, 2022