Lorenzo had spent his entire nine-year MotoGP career with Yamaha, winning three world titles and 44 races.

Meanwhile, Dall’Igna, who had worked with Lorenzo while heading the Aprilia racing department in the 125GP and 250GP classes, arrived at the struggling Ducati team at the end of 2013.

But it took until 2016 for Ducati to finally win its first race since Casey Stoner’s departure.

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“I made a very risky bet, at the time, going from Yamaha where I was winning a lot… To Ducati, who never won [the title] apart from 2007 with Casey Stoner,” Lorenzo told MotoGP.com.

“But I really knew that Gigi Dall’Igna finally would do it. That’s why I made this bet. And that’s what happened.

“Dall’Igna? Everything he started, he accomplished his dream and his target.

“More or less, I knew this would happen.”

Unfortunately for Lorenzo and Ducati, the start of his own race-winning success on the Desmosedici came too late, midway through his second season - after he had already signed to join Repsol Honda for 2019.

While Lorenzo’s team-mate Andrea Dovizioso finished title runner-up from 2017-2019, it was another Italian, Francesco Bagnaia, who finally handed Dall’Igna the premier-class crown.

“It’s a pity it didn’t happen when I was there in the team. This is a real pity,” Lorenzo said.

Lorenzo retired from MotoGP after a punishing debut season on the Honda RC213V.