Jorge Lorenzo admits his value in the MotoGP rider market is “not high” after a troubled maiden campaign with Ducati in 2017.
The three-time premier class champion joined the Italian manufacturer after nine years with Yamaha, but found the transition from the YZR-M1 to the vastly different Desmosedici a difficult one.
Steadily adapting to the Ducati across the year, Lorenzo ended the season without a win for the first time in his MotoGP career and was seventh in the standings with just three podium appearances on his scorecard.
With 2018 signalling the end of every factory team rider's current contract, Lorenzo admits his value has taken a hit after feeling he “won” his first two-year deal with Ducati following his successful period with Yamaha.
“I have a good contract [for '17 and '18] because my value in the market was high,” he said during Ducati's 2018 launch presentation in Bologna.
“A lot of riders speak about that, but when I signed the contract I was five-times world champion, I won more than 60 victories, 44 in MotoGP, a lot of pole positions. I fight nine years for the world title, so I won this contract.
“Obviously, they say your value is the same as your last race. Last race I crashed, so it's not very high and my last season was not very good.”
Ducati will now "go in my direction"
While finding himself riding the Ducati more naturally by the end of 2017, Lorenzo admits he will never stop adapting, though feels the bike will be designed more to suit him this season than it was last year.
He explained: “You never stop learning and I never stop changing my riding style - even when I was at Yamaha in my eighth or ninth year, because I think you always learn something.
“Obviously last year I changed so much, I learned so much, to try to ride the Ducati at its best. But it's never complete.
"Also I believe that last year if we were like this I change a little bit more than the bike within myself to the bike. Probably this year it will be the opposite.
"The bike will improve quite a lot to go in my direction - to be quick also, not only in acceleration, not only in the straight, not only in the braking, but also for example in the centre of the corner.”