MotoGP World Champion Jorge Lorenzo said he 'needed a new challenge' as the Movistar Yamaha rider reflected on his decision to join Ducati at the end of this season.

The three-time premier class champion has signed a two-year deal with the Italian manufacturer for 2017 and 2018, but for now Lorenzo remains totally focused on trying to retain his crown as he prepares for the fourth round of the championship this weekend at Jerez in Spain.

"As you all know next season I won't be with Yamaha. I felt I needed a change, a new challenge in my career, set new goals for me to try to achieve and keep my level of ambition at the maximum," Lorenzo said.

"I have only words of gratitude to the Yamaha family because of all the moments we lived through together. I achieved much more than I'd ever dreamt.

"What will happen in the future is unpredictable but from here on I just want to enjoy these 15 races that I have left with Yamaha to try to ratify the World Championship. This is right now my only target."

Lorenzo began a four-race winning streak at Jerez last year to ignite his title challenge and boasts an excellent record at the Spanish circuit, where he won twice in the 250cc class in 2006 and 2007 before chalking up three MotoGP successes in 2010, 2011 and 2015.

"Jerez is one of my favourite circuits in the world because of the special lay-out of the track and the atmosphere and the people hugging us from the grandstands," he said.

"Last season we kicked off with a good set of four victories in Jerez after a difficult start so hopefully this year we can repeat such a great result."

Lorenzo is currently second in the points standing, 21 points behind Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez.

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New challenge? Fair enough - so did Rossi. It will be interesting to see how Lorenzo fares at Ducati.

A new challenge like what am I going to do with 4 or 5 more million under my pillow...He should have gone to aprilia for a new challenge. No heart feelings I would have done the same. But at least he could have been honest to say that the money wasn't a reason to not go. The GP16 isn't a real challenge and everybody knows its a safe bet

I don't know Lorenzo had a little bit of a negative aura. Its not good for the brand. I'd rather see someone more positive...irrespective of the WC status he got by 5 points more.

Needed a new challenge? How about beating Marquez? Marc has 2 titles to Lorenzo's 1 while Marc has been in the class. How about putting together 5 in a row on 3 different motorcycles like Rossi. There are plenty of challenges out there. Rubbish, this is about other issues.

TequSlyder:
Robert Danley: Needed a new challenge? How about beating Marquez? Marc has 2 titles to Lorenzo's 1 while Marc has been in the class. How about putting together 5 in a row on 3 different motorcycles like Rossi. There are plenty of challenges out there. Rubbish, this is about other issues.[\blockquote]

I rarely comment on here, but couldn't resist this one.

No disrespect meant but:
Surely Lorenzo winning the title last year means that he DID beat Marquez
Rossi won 5 in a row, yes, but they weren't on 3 different bikes. He won the first 3 of those on Honda and then the next 2 on Yamaha. If you were simply meaning that Rossi has been on three different bikes then surely Lorenzo going to Ducati is a step closer to this haha.

Personally I agree with you saying that there are other issues, but the facts that you used to come to that conclusion aren't, strictly speaking, factual. [\blockquote]

First title with Honda was a 500cc 2-stroke. Very different