A source close to Jorge Lorenzo has denied that a decision on the Spaniard's MotoGP future has been made, and played down reports that Lorenzo is on the brink of a move to Ducati.
During 28 MotoGP races for Fiat Yamaha, Lorenzo has taken three wins and 14 podiums - handing him the 2008 rookie of the year title and second in the 2009 standings, behind team-mate Valentino Rossi, after eleven of 17 rounds.
With Lorenzo's two-year contract expiring at the end of this season, the 22-year-old's future has been the subject of intense speculation since rumours of a shock Honda switch first emerged at round two in Japan.
Honda announced at Brno that it would stick with Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso, but Yamaha's hopes of finally concluding negotiations were dashed by Ducati which - against the backdrop of uncertainty over Casey Stoner's future - has made a big money offer to Lorenzo.
Some reports have even suggested that a Lorenzo-Ducati deal is as good as done.
“We are still thinking, it is not true that we are closer to Ducati,” the source told Crash.net
, adding: “It is not an easy decision!”
All should be clear in around one week, to coincide with the forthcoming Indianapolis round on August 28-30: “We believe that in Indy or just before, we will say what happens with Jorge.”
Despite speculation about his likely pay increase, Lorenzo has insisted that his main focus in terms of 2010 is on-track performance.
That would suggest staying at Yamaha, but Lorenzo wants assurances that his world championship aspirations are best served by continuing as team-mate to Rossi, rather than becoming a number one rider for another factory.
“I feel great at Yamaha, we have a real family atmosphere and a very competitive bike,” Lorenzo told Crash.net
earlier in the season. “But the point is how much do Yamaha really want me?
“Yamaha has a very good situation because normally they have two riders on the podium at every race, but they also have to support two riders at the same level. This is not easy. We will see if, for Yamaha, it is enough to have one competitive rider or if they want to prepare for the future.”
Reigning six time MotoGP champion Rossi has a contract with Yamaha until the end of 2010, but has hinted that he may continue racing after that date.