Jorge Lorenzo opened talks with Yamaha for a new contract at Mugello this past weekend and has dismissed rumors that he wants the power to decide his teammate for 2015.
While Lorenzo claims that his “priority” is to remain at Yamaha and become a life-time MotoGP rider with the team, he continues to be linked to rumors of big money Ducati offer.
But Ducati have bigger problems than signing one MotoGP’s elite riders as they work to design an all-new Desmosedici racer for 2015.
Since joining Yamaha in 2008, Lorenzo has won two MotoGP titles and 31 races although he enters discussions for a contract extension in the midst of massive form slump.
And Lorenzo is adamant that he has no issues with Valentino Rossi again being his teammate for 2015 with the bitter tensions that enveloped the pair in 2009-10 now put aside.
“I think my manager is going to start to discuss with Yamaha this weekend so we will see what happens,” Lorenzo said prior to the Italian Grand Prix.
And he denied receiving any formal offers from other factories and certainly that appears to be the case with Honda who have gone cold on the idea of approaching Lorenzo now they have young superstar Marc Marquez signed until 2016.
“First we want to speak with Yamaha and the priority is to sign with them another time and we will see if we need to speak other factories,” Lorenzo said.
Ducati Corse boss Gigi Dall’Igna knows he has the toughest job in racing to build a Desmosedici for 2015 that is capable of challenging for wins. The red team’s four year losing streak is a deep embarrassment.
Quite rightly Dall’Igna says he will not beg a rider to join Ducati and share his passion of a difficult rebuild phase. And therein lies the risk for Lorenzo if he does receive an official big money offer.
“I don’t want to convince a rider to join us. A rider has to believe that Ducati can reach the results,” said Dall’Igna when asked if it would be difficult to persuade Lorenzo to ride a new and unproven bike in 2015.
“The job we have at the moment is not to win the championship because we have to develop the new bike.
“Lorenzo doesn’t want to develop the bike. The riders I have at the moment are the best to make the job that we have to do.
“But Lorenzo is one of the best riders, so everybody would like to have him. Everybody knows very well the riders who can fight for the world championship.
“But maybe when we are ready to win the championship the riders will be different.”
Of Ducati’s current riders Andrea Dovizioso is up for contract renewal and will be an attractive option for Suzuki if he fails to be convinced that the new Ducati will be a major improvement for 2015.
Dall’Igna admires Dovizioso’s pace and work ethic and says he would like to retain him for 2015.Ducati, Jorge Lorenzo, MotoGP, Yamaha