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Lorenzo returns to Yamaha as test rider

Daniel Herrero

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Friday 31st January, 2020 - 12:06pm

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Jorge Lorenzo on a Yamaha pic: MotoGP.com

Jorge Lorenzo has returned to Yamaha as a test rider for the 2020 MotoGP season.

The Spaniard won all three of his premier class titles with Yamaha, before two seasons at Ducati and last year’s particularly tumultuous campaign with Honda.

Lorenzo will partake in next month’s shakedown test, official MotoGP tests, and private Yamaha tests.

According to Yamaha, it “is open to the possibility” of wildcard race starts for the recently retired rider but none are currently planned.

“I was always planning on staying involved in MotoGP and returning to the paddock, and I think this is a suitable role for me,” said Lorenzo.

“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’.

“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.”

Yamaha Motor Racing’s Managing Director, Lin Jarvis, said: “Of course, we are delighted to welcome Jorge back at Yamaha.

“When we knew that Jorge would stop his active racing career, we immediately started to consider making a proposal for him to join us.

“The statistics of his achievements with us in those nine years together speak for themselves. 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.

“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, which aims to bridge the gap between the engineers and test riders in Japan and the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team.”

Kohta Nozane and Katsuyuki Nakasuga will also ride for the Yamaha Factory Racing Test Team.

The Lorenzo announcement is the third major piece of news out of Yamaha in as many days, following the announcement of Maverick Viñales’ re-signing for 2021 and 2022 and then the promotion of Fabio Quartararo to the factory team for the same period.

Valentino Rossi’s future, which included the possibility of continuing on a satellite Yamaha entry, is set to be decided after the opening seven or eight races of 2020.

The Sepang shakedown test takes place on February 2-4.

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