Lorenzo approaches Petronas Yamaha for 2021 MotoGP deal
Three-time MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo has offered his services to the Petronas Yamaha team for 2021, Motorsport.com has learned.
The satellite Yamaha team has emerged as Lorenzo’s other post-Honda option, alongside the possibility of replacing Jack Miller at Pramac Ducati as early as next year.
Lorenzo signed a two-year deal with Honda to partner Marc Marquez in its factory team, but has endured a largely fruitless and injury-disrupted start to life as a Honda rider.
Having been absent from the paddock since sustaining an injury at Assen, the 32-year-old is now believed to envisage his future away from Honda, which has led to the shock latest developments in the MotoGP rider market.
Quizzed about the possibility of an early Lorenzo departure, Honda team manager Alberto Puig said: “We don’t know anything, only that Jorge has an active contract and that contracts are signed to be fulfilled.”
However, it is understood that Honda’s management has been deeply frustrated by Lorenzo seeking alternative options for his future, and the Japanese manufacturer is expected to demand a clear answer from its rider as to his intentions in the short-term.
Albert Valera, Lorenzo’s agent, told Motorsport.com on Friday that there had been no formal developments regarding the three-time champion’s current deal with Honda, and that Lorenzo seeing out the contract is still very much a possibility.
Valera admitted, however, that a continuation of the Honda relationship past 2020 would be “complicated”.
And while one potential avenue for Lorenzo – provided Honda agrees to release him – would be to join Pramac in place of Miller for next year, with a view of reclaiming a works Ducati ride in 2021, the Spaniard is also exploring the possibility of reuniting with Yamaha.
Lorenzo, who won all three of his titles on a works Yamaha M1, had snubbed interest from its new SIC Racing-run satellite operation last year, but it is now understood that he would be interested in joining its roster.
The Petronas-backed outfit has enjoyed a particularly strong debut campaign in the premier class so far, claiming three pole positions and two podiums with rookie sensation Fabio Quartararo.
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