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Lorenzo and Yamaha: One or two years?
10 July 2014
With Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa remaining at Repsol Honda for at least the next two years, Jorge Lorenzo looks set to join team-mate Valentino Rossi in agreeing a new Yamaha MotoGP contract.
But how long will that contract be for?
Two years is the usual length for a factory rider and if Lorenzo renews for just one season it will fuel speculation that he is seriously considering Ducati in 2016.
Next year will see the much anticipated Desmosedici redesign by new Ducati Corse general manager Gigi Dall'Igna, with whom Lorenzo won two 250GP titles as an Aprilia rider.
Lorenzo to Ducati rumours first emerged in the Spanish media during the winter, while the Spaniard made a surprise visit to the Ferrari F1 team earlier this week, located around half an hour from the Ducati headquarters in Bologna.
With this year's Ducati still off the pace under normal circumstances, despite enjoying the Open class benefits, a one-year Yamaha deal would allow Lorenzo to see the impact of Dall'Igna's changes before opting whether to take the biggest gamble of his career in 2016.
It would also help solve the salary issue, which Lorenzo has cited as the present obstacle to a new Yamaha contact.
Lorenzo's 2015 Yamaha pay is likely to suffer due to his current results, which is all the more reason to make it a short contract. A stronger start to next season would then put Lorenzo in a much better negotiating position - with Yamaha or Ducati - for 2016 and beyond.
Lorenzo has been a Yamaha rider since his 2008 MotoGP debut, winning two world championships. Last season Lorenzo became the first team-mate to beat a fully fit Rossi in the final standings, by a massive 93 points.
However, after finishing just four points behind title winner Marquez, Lorenzo has suffered a torrid first half of 2014, claiming just two podiums for fifth in the standings.
2016 will see a significant technical shake-up with Michelin replacing Bridgestone as exclusive tyre supplier and the introduction of a control ECU system.
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