Jorge Lorenzo's MotoGP may remain undecided, but the 2009 title contender continues to insist that his 'first option' is to stay with Yamaha.
Lorenzo, just nine points behind team-mate Valentino Rossi after two wins and seven podiums from the first eight rounds of the season, is being linked with both Yamaha and Honda for 2010.
Reigning six time MotoGP world champion Rossi has a contract in place until the end of next season, after which he may or may not retire, and Yamaha clearly had Lorenzo lined up to take over as lead rider when The Doctor decides to call an end to his record breaking career.
But with Rossi stating that he might race on for another three or four seasons, Lorenzo may be tempted elsewhere. Lorenzo and/or his management appear to have had at least preliminary discussions with Honda, although countryman Dani Pedrosa's first victory of the year will have reduced the #99's bargaining power.
Yamaha boss Masao Furusawa has said that, while he wants to keep Lorenzo, he won't be drawn into a bidding war - while Lorenzo claims his decision will be based on a mixture of sporting and financial factors.
“I know what I am worth and I have time to decide,” Spanish sportspaper AS
reports Lorenzo as saying. “I cannot say a lot. My first option is Yamaha, because I am very competitive here and it is the best motorcycle. It is the best place, but we are going to see what happens.
“The most important thing for me is to have good people around me, supporting me and that we all work together in the same direction,” added the 22-year-old. “Right now, my life at Yamaha is like a beautiful movie, but we must see if this movie can continue or has to end.”
Lorenzo, who stated that he has the same technical support and machinery as Rossi, added that his decision will not be based on when the 30-year-old might retire.
“It's fine by me if he races until he is 38 years old,” said Lorenzo. “That would be best, because I like to race against the best and, for the time being, Valentino is the best, the fastest and the most consistent.”
In-between accidents and injuries, Lorenzo took one win, six podiums and four pole positions on his way to fourth overall during his rookie 2008 MotoGP season.
Tech 3 Yamaha riders Colin Edwards and James Toseland are also out of contract at the end of of 2009, as is Pedrosa.