Five-time World Champion Jorge Lorenzo is back after four years away from Yamaha as the new test rider for 2020.
It’s been a busy couple of days for the Monster Yamaha team with the extension of Maverick Vinales on Tuesday, followed by the promotion of Fabio Quartararo for 2021.
Lorenzo won all three MotoGP championships with the Japanese manufacturer before leaving for Ducati in 2017.
After two years with the Bologna outfit, he joined Repsol Honda on a two year deal which lasted only one full season.
Retirement came at the 2019 Valencia Grand Prix, but this new deal means Yamaha get their most recent champion back.
Lorenzo replaces former Tech 3 rider Jonas Folger, who was released at the end of 2019.
The move makes sense for both parties, as Lorenzo carries on riding at a high level, while Yamaha are looking to develop a championship winning bike once again.
With the recent signing of Quartararo, who’s style is molded after Lorenzo, it’s easy to make the correlation between the two.
Although Lorenzo will no longer be competing for championships, the Spaniard felt this was the right role for his future: “I’m very happy with the decision to join the Yamaha Factory Test Team.
I was always planning on staying involved in MotoGP and returning to the paddock, and I think this is a suitable role for me.
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.”
Yamaha have certainly made their intentions clear for the coming years, and Lorenzo knows his valuable experience and success with the team will be key.
“Returning to Yamaha brings with it some good memories. We secured many podiums and victories, and three titles together, so we know where our strengths lie.
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.
I’m very motivated to get to work and can’t wait to start riding. I want to do my best for Yamaha’s future, and I hope my riding experience will be helpful to Yamaha’s engineers and riders to bring the title back to Yamaha.”
There are no wild card rounds announced for Lorenzo as of yet, as he will take on a role similar to that of KTM test rider Dani Pedrosa.
Lorenzo will begin work with immediate effect, as the 32 year-old will ride in the official Sepang test in four days time.
Valentino Rossi’s former crew chief Silvano Galbusera will also be joining Lorenzo in his new role after being replaced for the 2020 season.