Lorenzo's crew chief won't follow him to Honda

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Lorenzo's crew chief won't follow him to Honda
Oriol Puigdemont
By: Oriol Puigdemont
Jun 29, 2018, 7:32 AM

Jorge Lorenzo has confirmed his current MotoGP crew chief, Cristian Gabarrini, will not move across with him from Ducati to Honda next year.

Speaking in Assen ahead of this weekend's Dutch TT, Lorenzo said that he will have a new chief mechanic in 2019 when he joins the factory Honda team, one that will be decided by the Japanese marque.

"It's not something that depends on me, whether [Gabarrini] can accompany me," he said. "Next year I won't have the power to decide that I had in other seasons, it will be a question for [Honda]."

Lorenzo's comments come amid a backdrop of numerous likely MotoGP crew chief movements, now that the 2019 rider market is all but settled.

Maverick Vinales is expected to part ways with the crew chief he inherited from Lorenzo when he joined Yamaha, Ramon Forcada.

The 23-year-old is understood to want to reunite next season with his former chief mechanic at Suzuki, Jose Manuel Cazeaux, who is currently working with Alex Rins.

Forcada, meanwhile, is believed to have been targeted by Yamaha to join the new Petronas-backed satellite team expected to join the grid in 2019, as crew chief to Dani Pedrosa - who is expected to race for the Malaysian-owned squad, along with Franco Morbidelli.

Lorenzo's former team manager Wilco Zeelenberg could become sporting director for the team.

As for Lorenzo's crew chief for his first season at Honda, the most likely option is that Pedrosa's former chief mechanic Ramon Aurin - currently assigned to Takaaki Nakagami at LCR - will rejoin the works Honda fold to work alongside the three-time champion.

Elsewhere, Aleix Espargaro confirmed on Thursday that his current crew chief Marcus Eschenbacher will not continue with him in 2019, with a replacement yet to be finalised. Eschenbacher is set to instead join KTM.

Danilo Petrucci also revealed that his current engineer Daniele Romagnoli will make the jump from Pramac Ducati to the works team with him next year.

UPDATE: It's emerged that Gabarrini will in effect swap places Romagnoli at Pramac next season, teaming up with Moto2 graduate Francesco Bagnaia for the 2019 campaign.

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About this article

Series MotoGP
Drivers Jorge Lorenzo Shop Now
Teams Ducati Team Shop Now
Author Oriol Puigdemont
Article type Breaking news