Triple MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo had been disappointed not to try the 2020 Yamaha during his return to the factory as a test rider at Sepang in February.

And it has now emerged that, eight months later, he will still be on a 2019-spec M1 during this week's Portimao test.

"I'm really excited to ride the Yamaha M1 again, because I've never so long without riding. For sure it will be quite tricky to adapt to the speed of these bikes again," said Lorenzo, speaking at the Portuguese circuit on Tuesday evening.

"If I understand well, we will go with the same bike as Sepang. We were not able to bring the new bike here, so we will use this test especially to get the best gearbox [ratios] for the official riders and also to test the tyres, to understand which are best for the time attack and race distance.

"We will probably also play a bit with set-up, but because I will have the 2019 bike the set-up is a little bit different [to the 2020 bike] so it's less important than gearbox and tyres."

Pressed on why he still doesn't have a 2020 Yamaha to ride, Lorenzo replied: "I spoke with Maio [Meregalli, Yamaha team director] some weeks ago and he told me that probably they would have the 2020 bike here. But now, two hours ago, I entered the box and they just had the 2019 bike.

"They told me that they didn't have time to prepare the 2020 bike. It's a pity not to have the same bike as the official [2020] bikes, but I guess they tried the maximum to get the new bike here and they couldn’t. So we will test with what we have."

MotoGP Rider Line-Up 2021 |

Despite having the most illustrious racing record of the current test riders, which includes former rival Dani Pedrosa at KTM, Lorenzo has seen the least track action this season, completing just two days in Malaysia so far in 2020.

And without getting the chance to try the current bike, there is little possibility of the Spaniard using his experience to suggest setting changes that might be beneficial to the race riders - something Pedrosa has been praised for at KTM - let alone helping with the development of new parts.

"I want to believe and I really believe that they [Yamaha] tried their best to do the maximum tests possible, but just the circumstances of Covid for some reasons stopped this from happening," Lorenzo said.

"I believe without Covid we would have the 15-16 days that we planned to do. But I don’t believe [Yamaha] are wasting, especially on purpose, their test rider because I think economically speaking they can be the factory that spent more money on it. So it's not logical to think like that."

As well as a possible 15-16 days of Yamaha testing, Lorenzo has also missed out on at least one wild-card race appearance, in Catalunya. All of which means Wednesday will be only his third day on a MotoGP bike this year.

"Now we have two days of testing in a new track and very special track, with a lot of uphills and downhills," Lorenzo said of Portimao. "It'll be important not to make any stupid mistakes at the beginning, try to make a lot of kilometres and give the maximum information to Yamaha for the official riders in the race here."

Lorenzo is yet to speak with Yamaha about continuing his test riding role to 2021, something he said will probably happen after this week's test.

Joining the #99 on track in Portugal will be fellow test riders Pedrosa (KTM), Sylvain Guintoli (Suzuki), Stefan Bradl (Honda), Michele Pirro (Ducati), Bradley Smith (Aprilia) and Lorenzo Savadori (Aprilia).

The majority of the MotoGP race riders will also attend the opening day of the test, to learn the track on road bikes before heading straight to this weekend's French Grand Prix.

Yamaha currently leads the MotoGP standings courtesy of Petronas star Fabio Quartararo, who ended a five-race podium drought with victory last time in Catalunya, while Factory Yamaha rider Maverick Vinales is 18 points from the top in third, behind Suzuki's Joan Mir.

But should the title fight go down to next month's Portimao season finale, any Yamaha riders involved might wish Lorenzo had been gathering data for their 2020 bike this week, as the other test riders are doing...