Lorenzo departure has made 2016 "strange"

Lorenzo departure has made 2016 "strange"
By AutoSport

19/10/2016 at 12:41

Yamaha MotoGP boss Lin Jarvis admits it has been "strange" to spend nearly a whole season working with Jorge Lorenzo knowing the Spaniard was leaving for Ducati.

Three-time champion Lorenzo announced his 2017 switch to Ducati in April, three races into the campaign, having pushed Yamaha to offer him an extended contract before the season started.

Six months later, and entering Lorenzo's final three races with Yamaha, Jarvis said the early nature of the announcement meant the relationship was bound to change.

"From the moment Jorge decided to move, of course it changes the dynamic a little bit," Jarvis said.

"But we committed ourselves to fully supporting him with the hardware, the team, equal support.

"And I am completely comfortable with the way we've done that.

"It's a bit strange. Is it ideal? Definitely not, it's something that you would prefer that these signings come later.

"But it's difficult to do. Everybody wants to secure their future as early as possible, including the riders, so it's part of life."

Lorenzo's quest for a farewell Yamaha title started well, with victories in three of the first six races and two second-place finishes.

However it took a massive dip mid-season, and he is now in a fight with team-mate Valentino Rossi for second in the standings, with Honda's Marc Marquez having sealed the title in Japan last weekend.

Contracted to the Japanese manufacturer until December 31, Yamaha has granted Lorenzo clearance to test for two days with Ducati in the post-Valencia GP running.

Lorenzo had also been hoping to test with Ducati at Jerez a week later and will not be allowed to, but Jarvis says he will leave the team on good terms.

"We have a very good relationship with Jorge," he added.

"Obviously it's normal that if someone decides to leave, it's not the same as if they decide to stay with you. That's a normal transition in a relationship.

"But there's no animosity. I've read all sorts of things and theories about a possible problem behind the scenes, but it's not true.

"He understands we're a professional company and a professional team, we understand he wants to leave and get up to speed as quickly as possible and he understands we have a contract.

"We've had nine good years together, we've won three titles, we have a very strong relationship.

"Who knows? Maybe in two years' time he'd like to come back.

"I think Jorge would like to finish with Yamaha and I think we would like to finish with him in the best way possible, and we'll be putting every effort into doing that."