Ducati have confirmed the signing of Jorge Lorenzo for the 2017 and 2018 MotoGP seasons, ending the Spaniard’s long association with Yamaha. The reigning world champion has spent his entire premier class career with the Japanese manufacturer, clinching three world titles along the way, but his ninth season with Yamaha will be his last.
In a statement released this afternoon, Yamaha has thanked the Spaniard for his part in such a successful era which has seen Lorenzo claim 41 victories and 99 top class podiums.
“Yamaha is extremely grateful for Jorge’s contributions to its racing successes and looks forward to sharing more memorable moments during the remaining 15 MotoGP rounds of 2016, their ninth season together. Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. wishes Lorenzo the very best in his future racing endeavours and reconfirms the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team‘s full support on his campaign to achieve his fourth MotoGP title.”
Speculation will now surround the identity of the second factory Yamaha rider alongside Valentino Rossi next season with Suzuki’s Maverick Vinales thought to be the favourite but the team are staying tight-lipped on the matter.
“Having already reconfirmed Valentino Rossi for 2017-18, Yamaha will announce the future Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team riders‘ line-up in due course after securing the services of the second rider.”