Could we be set for a huge shock, and see Jorge Lorenzo riding in orange and white for the Repsol Honda squad in 2015?
The two-time MotoGP World Champion has refused to rule out a potential move to Honda for the 2015 season, as renewal talks will soon begin with his contract expiring at Yamaha at the end of 2014. Along with Lorenzo’s contract at Yamaha expiring at the end of next season, Repsol Honda duo Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa both have contracts that are due to expire in 12 months time, meaning we could see a significant shake up in the rider market for the start of the 2015 season.
Honda have previous with Lorenzo, back in 2012, when Lorenzo had less than a year remaining on his Yamaha contract, Honda pushed very hard, and offered huge sums of money, but ultimately failed to securing the Mallorcans’ signature. Despite this set back, this hasn’t stopped HRC vice president Shuhei Nakamoto saying ‘we will talk to him for 2015’.
When asked by Spanish publican Marca, Lorenzo added fuel to the fire, and sent the rumour mill into overdrive by saying: “You cannot rule out any team. You never know what can happen or where you’ll end up.”
Despite saying that, the two-time MotoGP world Champion reaffirmed his desire to stay with his current team.
“I would like to end my career with Yamaha, retiring as a Yamaha legend,” said Lorenzo. “I would like to win another title as Rainey or Lawson did, but I would also like to have the best bike, so hopefully Yamaha will be able to give that to both myself and Valentino (Rossi).
“I’d like to end my career at Yamaha and retire a Yamaha legend, and try and win another world title. We have two so far but it would be nice to win more and be up there with the greats like Lawson, Rainey or Kenny Roberts.”
Despite Lorenzo’s seeming flirtation with Honda, Yamaha boss Lin Jarvis remains calm over Lorenzo’s future, and is confident that his number one rider will once again resist the HRC bucks in favour of a fourth contract at Yamaha.
“I think Jorge will want to wait to check the level of Honda and Yamaha in the early races of 2014,” Jarvis said. “Then we will see if he has confidence in Yamaha’s direction, investment and ability to develop the bike and be competitive and challenge for wins.
“Our target of developing the bike is not to persuade Jorge to sign but to win races and the championship. If we win this year’s championship we will be in a better position no matter whether it is Lorenzo, Rossi or anyone else.”