Jorge Lorenzo's team manager Wilco Zeelenberg hopes the obvious competitiveness of the latest Yamaha will overcome the reigning champion's likely temptation to try another MotoGP bike.

Lorenzo made a perfect start to his ninth season at Yamaha with victory in the Qatar season opener, the first event with Michelin as exclusive tyre supplier and a single ECU.

But while team-mate Valentino Rossi has already signed a two-year contract extension, Lorenzo - who received his new offer at the same time - is yet to decide amid rumours of an approach by Ducati.

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"This will be his own decision and it won't be just one factor," Zeelenberg said in Qatar. "It is true that Jorge [has a strong package at Yamaha] but I can also imagine all competitors at a certain point want to do something else.

"Looking at that, he has been at Yamaha for eight years, there is a possibility he will [leave]. But I hope of course he is clever enough to stay with Yamaha and to win another two titles - maybe three [including this season]."

Lorenzo emerged on top of a close four-rider group to win in Losail.

"The race was tight. I expected Maverick [Vinales] there as well, but anyway it was nice to see a group battling," Zeelenberg said. "Okay they didn't battle like Moto2 or Moto3 of course, because the bikes are heavier, every tenth counts and you could see they were riding on the limit.

"When Andrea was in front, he was fast but the pace was dropping two or three tenths. This is the difficult point, to keep '55.4-5 lap times. The rest were able to follow, but Jorge set the benchmark and was able to make another step when the fuel level dropped to escape. This is his personality and character."

Lorenzo - MotoGP champion in 2010, 2012 and 2015 - won the Qatar race by 2.019s from Andrea Dovizioso, with Marc Marquez and Valentino Rossi a fraction behind the Ducati rider.

Ducati has not won a MotoGP race since 2010.


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Sete: Happy, Yes, I will admit I have written off Rossi's chances at a title. Lets face it the man hasn't had a title since 2009. He only has 9 wins since 2010, hardly WC material! Jorge has 36 wins since 2010.

In 2015 he tried to do a Hayden and win the championship with consistent podiums. He lucked out on a couple of DNF's for Jorge and even more for marc that put him up there in the points. In the end the guy with the most wins, most poles, and most laps led won the championship and thats the way it should be.

I see Rossi as a consistent 3rd or 4th place finisher. At Quatar back in the garage he looked old and tired, I wonder how it will be in 3 years time? With all these young guns coming up it can only get harder. he may live to regret the next 3 years.[\blockquote]

pragmatically taken in to account the drought years at VW-Ducati. 2013-2015: 34 podiums for the old man, 37 for young gun. How impressive.

juggaknot: Lol. Some funny people on here. Jorge has been explicit that the booing does not affect him. He's quite happy with his own circle and his loyal fans, but people like to play as if they're Jorge's personal psychiatrist. Haha

I am guessing he will stay with Yamaha. The offer is confirmation that he has a seat with Yamaha so he's "relaxed" as he can be now.


sure. #99 is relaxed? isn't that a contradiction in itself?

MagicHipple: No better way to stick it to Rossi than by going to Ducati and achieving what he couldn't...[\blockquote]

If Lorenzo does that, rejects fairly the GP16 , GP15 or GP14.1.2, and takes the GP12 or 13 to teach Rossi a lesson on how to ride a bike...hats off to Lorenzo..Otherwise he can only compare to Iannone or Dovizioso.

The GP16 and GP12 are not comparable as we know all by now...Lorenzo can't stick anything by that measure...

paisan: he is in the shadow of vale at yamaha even when he wins
this is why he will leave
he wants the glory and isnt getting it despite the championships
because he is a tool[\blockquote]
He's in the shadow of Rossi because he's ego-centric and proud. He cannot accept that Rossi gets more attention than him.
Rossi can play with him again if he does not overcome this weakness in his character. His arrogant staging ( thumb down) is not good for Yamaha as a brand. Asking for someone to be disqualified so you can be crowned WC prior to the last race isn't an act of humility either.
He's a only a tool because he has very little charisma and cannot accept that that cannot be bought. With Ducati that may not change, as it is part of him. He'll need to address this in his character and care less about fame.
Other than that I hope he'll go so he'll extend his experience. Just for the matter of fun. At least he would have tried. At the moment the Ducati is competitive.