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Lorenzo contract means Yamaha stays

New Jorge Lorenzo contract also commits Yamaha to MotoGP.
A side-effect of Jorge Lorenzo signing a two-year contract extension is that it also commits Yamaha to MotoGP for at least the same timescale.

The ongoing cost-cutting negotiations between the three remaining manufacturers (Honda, Yamaha and Ducati) and Dorna have produced veiled and sometimes not-so-veiled threats by the brands to reconsider their participation if the technical justification for MotoGP is lost.

During winter testing, Masahiko Nakajima - general manager of Yamaha's Motorsport Development Division - warned:

"If there is a freeze on development. Like end-of-2012 spec engine must be used for three years then Yamaha is not interested to join MotoGP.

"We go racing to introduce new technology and in the future we feed the technology back to the production bike. If there is a freeze on development we are not interested to continue in MotoGP. This is the Yamaha philosophy."

The latest threat came just last week, when HRC vice president Shuhei Nakamoto spoke to about the timing of the major technical changes:

“No way to accept the changes for 2014. If so, we will not support the Championship. Also we don't want a big change. If they say we must move to all-CRT, we will quit. We have made that clear to Dorna."

With no major contracts in place for the forthcoming seasons it is much easier for the manufacturers to play hardball with Dorna.

But Lorenzo's new deal means Yamaha's factory MotoGP presence is now surely guaranteed until at least 2015 - regardless of the rules.

It is hard to believe that title leader Lorenzo, who held the 2013 MotoGP rider market in his hands, would sign so early without such assurances.

Tagged as: Honda , Yamaha , Ducati , Jorge Lorenzo

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Dangleberry - Unregistered

June 12, 2012 12:02 PM

I don't doubt that Yamaha will stay in the competition as it means a lot to them but just because their riders are contracted doesn't mean they won't pull out if they need to - look at what happened to Melandri and Laverty in SBK - Melandri had only just signed a contract extension a couple of weeks before they announced their disbandment. Rubbish headline

Slow Mo - Unregistered

June 12, 2012 12:54 PM

Yamaha is a serious racing factory that prides its repuation. They would not have got Lorenzo without committing to a full factory motogp project for that period. The WSBK project was Yamaha Europe and Melandri's new contract was an automatic renewal option triggered by his results that year. He didn't get phoned up by Yam Japan and offered a new contract just before they quit. Look at the mess Kawasaki got in when they tried to leave MotoGP with contracts in place. Had to do that Hayate thing for a year and pay Hopper millions to do nothing.

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