Ducati's Jorge Lorenzo will be assisted by friend and former rival Alex Debon during the 2018 MotoGP season.

Debon, as an Aprilia test rider and wild-card, helped Lorenzo during his first world championship showdown, in the 250cc class at Valencia in 2006 (pictured).

Lorenzo came into the race 13 points clear of current MotoGP team-mate Andrea Dovizioso, but nerves looked to get the better of the Aprilia rider when Dovizioso moved ahead of him on lap 8.

But Debon was following dutifully behind Lorenzo and, when the 19-year-old Spaniard eventually re-passed Dovizioso, Debon also moved by the Honda rider.

With Debon acting as an impassable 'wall', Dovizioso was never able to threaten Lorenzo again, who pulled away to confirm the world title with fourth place. Debon finished fifth, while Dovizioso faded to seventh.

Debon later claimed two grand prix victories for Aprilia, during 2008.

Debon will also be reunited with Gigi Dall’Igna next season, the general manager of Ducati Corse having run the Aprilia 250cc project during Lorenzo's back-to-back titles.

Ducati test rider Michele Pirro assisted Lorenzo as a trackside observer during 2017, but was not available at all rounds due to his own testing and Italian Championship commitments.

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Always liked Alex Debon, wondered where he'd gone, hard as **** rider in his time

Ducati is doing all they can so Lorenzo can become no.1 in the team but the most important thing is speed and I don't see him being faster than Dovi.

If KTM were smart they would scoop JL up before Suzuki do. Unless he turns it around at Ducati then they will definitely kick him out. But im in agreement with ZDOUBLEZ, I can't see him beating Dovi. 

I'll leave it to SENNAFTW, DICKENS, WH, YOSSARIAN, etc to litter this article with Italian hate comments. Only a matter of time!! ;-)

Lorenzo has comprehensively been faster than Dovi every year and every class except last year. Even so, he lead many laps. Lorenzo is a faster rider...no doubt

Farewell to Nobby....the best of the 'old school' mechanics.

Also good luck to the pairing that the thread is about.

Have I missed the Crash major tribute to the legendary Nobby Clarke then, Codger? What a big season coming up for Lorenzo, hard to predict really. By the end of 2017 he was 'there or thereabouts' as the saying goes. There's been a few Ducati riders got to that point - now comes the tricky bit, to do even better than Dovi did and win the title. Ducati are throwing all the money at it and giving him everything he asks for, they expect nothing less that the title in return. The Debon move has a whiff of looking after your mates, but Lorenzo has the brilliance and experience to at least be winning races next season. The title? A big ask, given the competition.

Jorge is gathering quite a coaching team together, his old trusted mate full time, Pirro when available and best of all Stoner from time to time.

So Lorenzo makes a regular thing of getting another rider to nobble his rival. 

was some strange time, Lorenzo forced Aprilia to pull out Barbera at that time, that let less space to Debon, i like Debon a lot, hope he stay well after a lot of bad luck crashes and injuries...