Following his retirement from Grand Prix racing at the end of last year, five-time World Champion Jorge Lorenzo has found a spot on the Yamaha Factory Racing Test Team for 2020. Lorenzo won his three MotoGP World Championships in 2010, 2012, and 2015 on a Yamaha YZR-M1 factory racer.
Lorenzo’s first appearance on the Yamaha Factory Racing Test Team will be on February 2 at the Sepang Test. He will be doing development work for the M1 with Yamaha Factory Racing Test Team Crew Chief Silvano Galbusera.
“Combining Jorge‘s experience, knowledge, and riding speed with experienced Crew Chief Silvano Galbusera is an important element in Yamaha‘s strategy to strengthen the Test Team,” Managing Director, Yamaha Motor Racing Lin Jarvis said, “which aims to bridge the gap between the engineers and test riders in Japan and the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team.”
“I’m very happy with the decision to join the Yamaha Factory Test Team,” Lorenzo said. “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.”
“Of course, we are delighted to welcome Jorge back at Yamaha,” Jarvis remarked. “When we knew that Jorge would stop his active racing career, we immediately started to consider making a proposal for him to join us.”
Lorenzo was equally enthusiastic. “Returning to Yamaha brings with it some good memories,” he said. “We secured many podiums and victories, and three titles together, so we know where our strengths lie….I’m very motivated to get to work and can’t wait to start riding.”
“The statistics of his achievements with us in those nine years together speak for themselves,” Jarvis noted. “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 will be developing the M1 for the Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP Team of Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales.
In addition to his three MotoGP titles, Lorenzo was the 250GP championship twice, in 2006 and 2007. Lorenzo has 68 Grand Prix wins in his career, with 47 of them coming in the premier MotoGP class. Lorenzo started his GP career with Caja Madrid Derbi Racing in the 125GP class in 2002. Lorenzo ended his career at the Repsol Honda Team.
“So far, no wild card rides are planned for Lorenzo in 2020,” according to a Yamaha spokesman, “but Yamaha is open to the possibility, should he decide to race again.”