Jorge Lorenzo has broken his silence on his move to Ducati by claiming the prospect of a new challenge sparked the switch from Yamaha.
The reigning world champion was confirmed as a Ducati rider for 2017 and 2018 on Monday in a move which sees the Spaniard leave Yamaha, where he scored three world titles and 41 grand prix wins.
Hinted since the start of the season, Lorenzo revealed his motives to join the Italian manufacturer in the lead up to this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez.
Having contested his entire premier class career with Yamaha, the 28-year-old says his relationship with the marque has remained strong throughout.
“As you all know next season I won’t be with Yamaha,” said Lorenzo.
“I felt I needed a change, a new challenge in my career, set new goals for me to try to achieve and keep my level of ambition at the maximum.
“I have only words of gratitude to the Yamaha family because of all the moments we lived through together. I achieved much more than I’d ever dreamt.
“What will happen in the future is unpredictable but from here on I just want to enjoy these 15 races that I have left with Yamaha to try to ratify the World Championship. This is right now my only target.”
The news of Lorenzo’s departure has created a vacant seat at Yamaha with Suzuki’s Maverick Vinales emerging as a possible replacement.