An agreement was made between Yamaha and Jorge Lorenzo before this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix, and the Spaniard will remain with the factory team for the next two years.
The 23-year old, who joined Yamaha in 2008 riding next to Valentino Rossi, will be teammates with Ben Spies, who also signed a two-year deal with factory Yamaha. Rossi will be competing in 2011 on the Ducati Team next to Nicky Hayden.
Jorge Lorenzo says: “My first choice was always to stay here with Yamaha and I am very glad that this will happen. I feel happy here; I have good people around me, a strong relationship with Yamaha and a great bike. I want to say thanks again to Lin Jarvis, who has always supported me. Now we are focused on winning the championship but I am already excited about next season. I know that Ben and I can do a great job for Yamaha and I want to thank them for their belief in me.”
With four rounds remaining, Lorenzo leads the 2010 championship by 69 points over Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa. He is en route to possibly his debut World Championship in the premier class (he has two in the former 250cc Class aboard an Aprilia). Pedrosa is recovering from surgery on a broken collarbone, which he sustained during a crash at Friday practice for Motegi.
Lin Jarvis (Managing Director of Yamaha Motor Racing) says: “We are extremely happy that we have reached an agreement with Jorge to remain a Factory Yamaha rider for 2011 and 2012. Since he joined three years ago he has made great progress and has improved himself every year to go from fourth place and ‘best rookie’ in 2008, to second place in 2009, to challenging for the MotoGP championship title in 2010.”
“I am particularly pleased to finally get the agreement in place here in Japan because it will now enable Jorge to focus all of his efforts and concentration in the coming weeks to try to secure his first MotoGP class rider’s title. Being only 23 years old I believe Jorge has a long career ahead of him and hopefully he can win many world titles with Yamaha.”
“Jorge will be joined by Ben Spies in the Factory Team next year and with these two exceptionally talented hungry young riders we will start the 2011 season with the most exciting and competitive team in the paddock.”