Lorenzo won all three of his MotoGP championships riding a Yamaha but his still seems to hold ill will over his brief stint as their test rider.

He was replaced by Cal Crutchlow, a decision which turned into a nasty war of words, but now three years later Lorenzo has questioned Yamaha’s progress.

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“Yamaha have never had the best engine or the most powerful engine,” he said. “Never in history.

“The way that the engine is made? It’s not the best idea to have maximum power.

“This also gives the bike good characteristics - for example, stability in the corners. 

“To move the bike on the corners is more agile, more easy, more friendly to the riders.

“It looks like, in the past couple of years, they lost the strong points but haven’t got exactly what they need from an engine point of view - with power or acceleration.

“Now it’s a bike that doesn’t have a strong point, like before.

“I don’t say it’s a terrible bike because I’m sure it’s competitive but not enough to fight for the title.

“Especially when you have Pecco Bagnaia, who is very mature, and seven more Ducati riders. Then other brands, like KTM.

“It looks like they have lost their way.

“It is a pity because I was riding for them as a test rider. With me, you never know, but I knew the bike and I could have helped them to find a way, for the evolution of the bike.

“But now they have a different test rider.

“From the outside, it looks like they have lost their way. Hopefully they find their way again, like Honda, in the future.”

Yamaha delivered MotoGP championships for both Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi, and most recently won via Fabio Quartararo in 2021, although he has bemoaned his struggles since.

Lorenzo’s end-of-career stint as their test rider was interrupted by the pandemic but, at the time, he described Yamaha’s decision to replace him with Crutchlow as “exchanging gold for bronze".

Lorenzo used social media to add: "Saying that I'm not a good tester is like saying that the Earth is square.

"Engineers and riders who shared the box with me in Yamaha and Ducati know how good I am in developing the bike and helping them to make it faster.

"If we only talk about numbers, it's a fact that after I left both team, the number of wins per season decreased.

"About Cal, he has been one of the riders with less wins and more crashes in the last 10 years.

"I think he will be a good tester... to test how hard is the bike."