Out of a potential six days at Sepang, during the Shakedown and then Official MotoGP test, Jorge Lorenzo only appeared on track for two days during his much-anticipated debut as a Yamaha test rider.

The triple MotoGP champion, who retired from racing last November after a punishing season at Repsol Honda, also only got to ride a 2019-spec bike.

The Spaniard, who rode on the final day of each test, had been hoping to get some laps on the new bike but will have to wait for his next test.

"Unfortunately, for some reasons, Yamaha decided not to give me the new bike to try in the last afternoon," said Lorenzo, who finished the day in 20th place but only 1.348s from satellite Yamaha pace setter Fabio Quartararo, who joined official team riders Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales on the new M1.

"They were thinking about it, but finally they decided not to let me try and, you know, this test was not 'secure' to do it. We arrived on time to do it, so that's a good thing. The bad thing is that we didn’t have the time or enough pieces to have one new bike for me.

"That would be interesting, to have a third or fourth opinion of the weak points and the good points that the new bike has."

Nonetheless, Lorenzo was pleased to at least be reacquainted with the M1, a machine he took to 44 race wins during nine years at the factory team.

"It's a nice feeling no? As I felt on the first day, it's a bike that didn’t change so much, luckily – or unluckily! Depends how you see it" smiled Lorenzo, who raced for Ducati and Honda after leaving Yamaha at the end of 2016.

"But the bike is still very competitive, it's very easy for the rider, especially if you are a smooth rider like in my case.

"During these two days I saw two or three weak points that we need to focus on, but also we have a lot of strong points and we need to keep these strong points that we had in the past."

What are the weak points?

"Let's say the good points that the rest have, we don’t have. So you can imagine a little bit…"

Lorenzo, rumoured to be considering a possible wild-card appearance at his home Catalan Grand Prix in June, revealed that Yamaha had made contact about the testing role soon after his retirement plans became known.

"Yamaha was very interested already when I announced my retirement, through Lin Jarvis, so they contacted me very soon and I got this proposal very soon," Lorenzo said. "I needed to decide if I wanted to ride again, but obviously knowing it was a Yamaha was one good point for that direction."

Although Lorenzo, who is working with Rossi's former crew chief Silvano Galbusera, would not provide details of his next track appearance "we already know when and where, more-or-less".

 

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