Jorge Lorenzo believes the urgent search for his successor at the Repsol Honda team is centred around Cal Crutchlow, Johann Zarco and Alex Marquez.

"I don’t know if they think about Nakagami," Lorenzo said on Saturday evening at Valencia. "What I heard is it's about three riders; Cal, Johann and Alex.

"Cal is the one with more experience, that knows very well the bike and we know how quick Cal can be. Then Johann is doing a great job in these races, he's demonstrated speed.

"Then we have Alex, who is a two-time world champion, the youngest one. He is the brother of Marc so it could be interesting to have two brothers in the same team and also he's Spanish, so for Repsol it can be interesting.

"Difficult to chose. Difficult task for Alberto [Puig] because the three riders are interesting and have similar level, I think, in speed. So let's see."

Alex Marquez is now the clear favourite to land the Repsol ride, with Crutchlow remaining at LCR alongside Nakagami and Zarco linked with a possible switch to Ducati.

Turning to his own 2020 plans, Lorenzo said he will continue to visit the paddock following his retirement and, interestingly, is 'open to almost every possibility'.

"Well I still didn’t think about it. In the paddock for sure you will see me because I would like to come to visit some races without pressure and just to take some coffee while I watch the race! watch the other racers fight. But I don’t know. I'm open to almost every possibility and let's see."

Might we see the five-time world champion follow in the footsteps of former rivals Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa by becoming a factory MotoGP test rider? There's currently a vacancy at Yamaha…

Lorenzo was speaking after taking part in his final MotoGP qualifying session, where he claimed 16th on the grid for his last grand prix (at least as a full-time rider).

"It was an important day, more important than yesterday because it was my last qualifying of my career so it's always emotional, to be the last time you are so focused to make our perfect lap," he said.

"It has been quite a good day. Similar to yesterday in position and difference to the fastest.

"In the morning I did a little bit better, I finished 15th and 1.1s from the first. In the afternoon, honestly expected to go a little bit quicker, maybe '31.0-30.9 but finally I didn’t feel the same way as the morning. Maybe we made some modifications that didn’t work.

"But it's okay. The position is the best I could do today because the 15th place rode in '30.9, so a little bit far from my position.

"Hopefully tomorrow in the warm-up we can improve the bike a little bit again. I want to gain a little bit more grip on the rear that today especially with the medium tyre that will be the race tyre, was not fantastic. So let's try to make a good start, try to be close to the second or third group. Let's try to achieve the most points possible."

Lorenzo was also proud to see his 2016 Valencia pole record, set with Yamaha, remain unbeaten for another year.

"It's impressive to still have the lap record, because I made a '29.4. It's very fast and I think now the bikes are a little bit better than two years ago so that demonstrated how well I felt with that bike. To be so quick," he said.

Fabio Quartararo's 2019 pole time on a Petronas Yamaha was a 1m 29.978s.

 

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