Yamaha has confirmed that departing triple MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo will only be allowed to take part in one post-season test for Ducati.

On Thursday, Lorenzo said he expects to make his Ducati debut at the official Valencia test, but was clearly disappointed that Yamaha isn't keen to release him for a second test.

All the factories are planning a private test in late November, either at Jerez (Ducati) or Sepang (Yamaha), before the winter ban begins on December 1. The end-of-November tests returned last season, when the rules were relaxed to allow five days of private testing per year.

Although contracts expire at the end of December, a MotoGP rider hasn't been prevented from taking part in a post-season test with a new team since Valentino Rossi left Honda for Yamaha at the end of 2003. Rossi had to wait until the new year.

In Japan on Friday afternoon, Yamaha Racing managing director Lin Jarvis defended their decision, explaining why they feel allowing Lorenzo one Ducati test before his contract expires is 'reasonable, correct and enough'.

"Regarding the test in Jerez, I think it's better to concentrate first on the test in Valencia. Because by contract no Yamaha rider has an automatic right to test for any other manufacturer - or do anything for any other manufacturer - while they are under contract to Yamaha," Jarvis began.

"So our rider contracts are always until December 31st and that's the same for Jorge's contract. The reason they are until December 31st is, this is not only a sport; this is also a business.

"For us, for Yamaha, we spend a lot of money for our riders' contracts and we want a return on our investment. Of course you never know what the result will be for any season, but the last thing you want is that your right to use your rider finish after the last race.

"And it's not only Yamaha, in our global network, but all of our sponsors and partners. They also signed up to support our team, with our riders, to be able to use the image and the benefits of that association until the end of the year.

"So what we've done with the Valencia test is, in the spirit of co-operation amongst the manufacturers and a so-called - I've read it several times in all sorts of quotes in the last couple of days - 'gentleman's agreement' we've let Jorge be available to do the two days of testing in Valencia.

"We think that's reasonable, we think that's correct and that's enough."

Yamaha's stance towards Lorenzo has attracted criticism since the #99's replacement, Suzuki's Maverick Vinales, will be able to test at both Valencia and Sepang in November.

When it was put to Jarvis that Suzuki - and also Ducati in the case of Andrea Iannone - are in the same contractual situation as Yamaha, but allowing the departing rider to have two tests, the Englishman replied:

"Do you know the contract of Vinales? Do you know whether Suzuki are letting him be free especially to do the test? I beg to differ [with the view that Suzuki could have stopped Vinales from testing]. I know also a little bit about what's going on with the contracts, and every contract is negotiated based on certain conditions.

"Our contracts are negotiated on the condition that the rider is not free to do any other activities until the end of the term [December 31st]. I think that some other riders contracts are maybe negotiated so the rider is free to do other things. And so I think that each contract is different, each contract needs to be understood and each contracted respected.

"In the case of Jorge, and it would be the same for Valentino etc, we spent a lot of money on our rider contracts. It's a very, very significant investment and for Yamaha, as an example, for our company and sponsors, it's pretty difficult to explain, why would you let the rider that you are still paying test for multiple days for one of your main competitors?

"So we are willing to play the game and we are willing to do what we think is normal; to allow the riders to have an exception to step out of their contract for two days in Valencia. But for us to do more than that - it's a bit like you give the hand, and then someone takes your whole arm.

"We think that two days is already a good concession. We're comfortable with that. We've discussed it at top management level inside Yamaha and this is our company decision."

Pressed on the 'gentleman' factor of preventing a second test, Jarvis added: "I think a gentleman respects the contract. And if you can tell me an occasion when we haven't done that, then you can question if we are gentlemen or not."

Asked to reflect on how Yamaha had felt when Rossi was barred from testing by Honda in 2003, Jarvis said:

"At that time we just accepted their decision, because they were the contract holder of Valentino Rossi. He'd spent multiple years with them, won multiple championships with them. They chose to not let him test the Yamaha because they didn't want to give him any competitive advantage.

"But he didn't test at all. He wasn't allowed to test at Valencia. Our first test with him was in January in Sepang. We just accepted it. As simple as that. Obviously Valentino coming to Yamaha was a big win, so for such a big win if we start in January, that's life.

"We started in January and we were successful in the first year.

"I think in this case you can't compare Valentino's situation with Honda, to Jorge's position with Yamaha; we are allowing him to do the two days at the Valencia test. We think it's reasonable."

Lorenzo is not the only Yamaha contracted rider joining a new factory next season, with Tech 3's Pol Espargaro switching to KTM. The Spaniard is also set to get only one pre-2017 test.

"Pol's condition is perhaps slightly different. Jorge is a three time world champion for Yamaha, a top star, highly competitive. Ducati is highly competitive and so his situation - he will be one of our main competitors next year. This is just a fact. So we respect that as well. Pol is not a multiple MotoGP champion and KTM are a newcomer, but we will apply the same policy. This is something that we feel if we apply the policy to one rider, we are obliged to apply it to another."

Lorenzo was fastest in Friday practice for the Japanese MotoGP, but just 0.053s ahead of 2017 Ducati team-mate Andrea Dovizioso. Might the decision not to allow a second test damage the atmosphere within Movistar Yamaha for the remaining races?

"Not really. Of course Jorge maybe - his words from the press conference were quoted to me - he would like to be given the opportunity to test. Because his mission is to get up to speed as quickly as possible, to be as fast as possible with the Ducati next year.

"But next year he will be our main competitor. So his wish and desire is different to ours. Our desire next year is to try to win the first race and I'm sure Ducati's mission is the same. We all know Ducati at Qatar are very strong, we know that Jorge at Qatar is very, very strong.

"So he will be a serious threat next season from the first race.

"It's sport, but it's not charity. This is business. Our riders are being paid a large amount of money to perform at the ultimate level to bring our brand to the front.

"And it's the same for Ducati. I heard Gigi Dall'Igna was talking about sportive-ness, but I think Ducati's mission is not just about sportive-ness, they want to be competitive. They've made a major investment with Lorenzo and they want to be as quick as possible and adjust the bike as much as possible during the winter to try to win the first races.

"That's their right to do that, but it's not our mission to try to help Ducati or try to help Jorge in the future.

"We have a very good relationship with Jorge. Obviously it's changed slightly, that's normal once someone decides to leave. But there is no animosity. I've read all sorts of theories on the web forums and on sites about possible problems going on behind the scenes with Yamaha. It's not true.

"So you can create whatever theory you want, but there is no animosity I don't think between Lorenzo and us. He understands we are a professional company and professional team. We understand he wants to leave and get up to speed as quick as possible. And he understands that we have a contract. That's it.

"Put yourself in the shoes of Yamaha. What would you do if you were still paying a rider for another seven weeks. Would you allow that rider to spend all of his riding time trying to improve your competitors performance if you were still paying the contract? You try explaining that to your shareholders, or your sponsors, or your colleagues. It's the way it is.

"We think [allowing] Valencia is the industry norm and we find it acceptable to do that. But not more."

The whole situation could be avoided if rider contracts expired at the last race of the season. But it will never happen.

"We will never sign a contact that does that. And the reasons is, as I've said, it's a professional sport with a lot at stake. If you sign a contract where the rider could leave at the end of last race, as an example what happens if Jorge becomes world champion on Sunday at Valencia?

"When you sign a contract - and Jorge's was signed two years ago - of course we hope he will become champion, just like we hope Valentino will become champion. You can't imagine that you can sign a contract where if the guy leaves, all of your rights to use him and exploit his imagine terminate on the next day. That's crazy."

All of which makes perfectly reasonable sense.

But the contrast of Lorenzo testing once, when other riders are being allowed to test twice, remained hard to swallow - is it a sign that the other manufacturers need better contracts?

"I respect each manufacturer, each rider and the way that they make contracts. I have nothing to say about that. But I believe every one is different and I think each country has a different attitude towards the way it does its business, runs its team and its contract," Jarvis said.

"Yamaha always has been, and is, very correct with its contracts with its people in general. We avoid polemics. If other people choose to do something else, then so be it. I think each one of the three riders cases are quite different.

"The fact is up until now Valentino did a two day test at Valencia [when he joined Ducati from Yamaha], Ben Spies did a two-day test [Yamaha to Ducati]. We accept and think that's reasonable.

"Again I ask you, if you continue to pay a rider until the end of the year, should you permit and allow that rider to do multiple test days to try to beat you next year?"

Replies from the media included 'if everyone does it' and 'if the rider won three riders for me'.

"I respect that opinion... Yamaha is not a small team. This is very important. We are a big multi-national company with interests around the world. We need to protect our interests and investments. It's the same for our sponsors. Already it's a delicate matter letting [Lorenzo] ride at Valencia But we can defend that and accept that, because it's the industry norm. But for us that is where the limit is.

"The Valencia test has become part of the end of season activity. to some extent it's a show because it's on TV. I personally don't support the concept of the Valencia test, because it's too confusing that a rider steps from being a fully branded Yamaha rider to the next day being in the media on a de-branded suit on a de-branded bike, riding for one of your competitors.

"Anyway, this is the way the sport is organised and we respect that.

"We are not denying any test opportunity for Jorge and Ducati. It's just that he will have to use one of his five days [for private testing] next year.

"You have the official tests and the private tests. You are allowed five private test [days per rider], anywhere you want outside of the winter test ban period. So if Jorge doesn't test the Ducati in [late] November, then he will use that private test day in February. It's just a delay."

Lorenzo has been a Yamaha rider since joining MotoGP in 2008, winning 43 races on his way to three world titles.

"Jorge said in the press conference, 'I would have liked to do this [test at Jerez] and think maybe Yamaha could have done this, but I will respect whatever decision Yamaha make because I'm a Yamaha factory rider'.

"I think honestly we've had nine good years together, we've won three world title, we have a very strong relation and who knows, maybe in two years time maybe he will want to come back? I think Jorge would like to finish with Yamaha - and we would like to finish with him - in the strongest way possible and will be putting every effort into doing that.

"So I hope that this issue is not blown up and made to be a bigger than it is. At the end of the day, it's a rational business decision and considering the concession we're giving I believe Yamaha is being reasonable."

By Peter McLaren