Jorge Lorenzo has signed a contract extension with Yamaha that will see the 2010 MotoGP Champion riding the M1 through the 2014 season.
Lorenzo currently leads the 2012 MotoGP Championship points chase with 115 points and is looking for his second premiere class title. Through five races this season, Lorenzo has three wins and a pair of second-place finishes, matching his pace from his championship-winning 2010 season.
“I am extremely happy to have signed with Yamaha for two more years. They’ve made great efforts to retain me in the factory team so I want to thank all those involved at Yamaha for this,” says Lorenzo. “I’ve been treated like part of the Yamaha family since 2008 and I love working with them. It has always been my first option to stay here and so I’m happy that this important negotiation has finished with such a positive outcome. Now I can focus on the Championship and I’m looking forward to paying back Yamaha’s trust in me starting at Silverstone this weekend. I look forward to winning many more Championships together; my dream to finish my career with Yamaha is now closer to becoming a reality!”
For Yamaha, signing Lorenzo to a new contract was imperative. The Spanish rider has been stellar for Yamaah since winning his rookie of the year campaign in 2008. Lorenzo is tied with Honda‘s Casey Stoner to lead all riders with 15 wins since the start of the 2010 season.
With Stoner’s impending retirement, Honda was expected to make a push to sign Lorenzo away from Yamaha. By re-signing Lorenzo, Yamaha can remain competitive for a couple more years.
Yamaha still needs to sign a teammate for Lorenzo. The incumbent, Ben Spies, has had a disappointing season so far while the Tech3 Yamaha satellite team of Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow have been strong, currently battling each other for fourth and fifth overall in the championship. Either Tech3 rider would be a likely candidate for a factory seat next season with Dovizioso perhaps holding a slight edge because of his experience with Honda’s factory team.