Lorenzo Confirmed At Movistar Yamaha Through 2016

Jorge Lorenzo has signed a new two-year deal with Yamaha. The 2010 and 2012 world champion will stay with the factory Movistar Yamaha team in MotoGP for the 2015 and 2016 seasons.

The deal had been widely expected, as the two sides have been in serious negotiation since Assen. With both the Repsol Honda and factory Ducati full up, Lorenzo had few other options, and it was simply a matter of contract details between Yamaha and the Spaniard. It was widely rumored that Lorenzo was looking for a single-year deal, or an option to leave early, but the announcement makes no mention of that. However, Spanish media are reporting that a compromise was reached in the form of an option for both sides to terminate the contract a year early, at the end of 2015.

Lorenzo's signing completes the factory line ups of the three manufacturers already in MotoGP. Suzuki are expected to announce their line up for 2015 as well, consisting of Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Viñales. Attention will then turn to Aprilia, and their return to MotoGP, which is mooted to have been brought forward a year to 2015.

Below is the press release from Yamaha announcing the deal with Jorge Lorenzo:

Yamaha and Jorge Lorenzo Confirm New Two-Year Agreement

Indianapolis (USA), 7th August 2014

Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd and Movistar Yamaha MotoGP rider Jorge Lorenzo are delighted to announce that they have signed a new two-year agreement that sees the Mallorcan complete the Movistar Yamaha line up for the next two seasons.

The agreement realises Lorenzo’s wish to continue his premier class career with Yamaha, extending the relationship from seven to nine years. Both Yamaha and Lorenzo are confident that the partnership has the potential to deliver a third title and will continue to work towards this goal.

Lin Jarvis, Managing Director, Yamaha Motor Racing

“I am very happy we have reached an agreement for Jorge to continue as a Movistar Yamaha MotoGP rider. The new agreement extends Jorge’s seven-year partnership with Yamaha. He started with us as a rookie back in 2008 and together we achieved many great results including 31 GP victories and two MotoGP Rider World Champion titles in 2010 and 2012. The 2014 season has been a tough one for Jorge so far but I am hoping that the confirmation of this new agreement will give him the peace of mind to be able to focus 100% of his energy on the remaining races. Last year we saw what he was able to do when the going was tough and he was fighting back from mid-season injuries so we know that the potential is there for a strong second half to the 2014 season. For 2015 and beyond we have no doubt that Jorge will be a strong title contender and we will do our very best to provide him with the materials and the support he needs to be able to realize our shared ambitions.”

99 Jorge Lorenzo

“I am very happy to finally be able to make this announcement. It is a relief to be able to now completely focus on the remainder of the 2014 season in the knowledge that our relationship will continue for the next two seasons. It has always been my wish to continue my career with Yamaha; I strongly believe we can fight for a third title together. This season has been very challenging after a difficult start, however we will continue to take it race by race, giving 100% until Valencia. I want to thank Yamaha for their continued belief in me and all the Yamaha fans around the world who continue to support me. After the summer break I’m excited to be back at Indy with my team and focused again on riding.”

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When I first heard that Lorenzo was seeking an opt-out clause for the second year, like what Crutchlow had with Ducati, my immediate thought was that Jorge was searching for a negotiating stance, and the clause would be given up in the deal-making process. Especially considering all the unknowns for 2016... spec ECU/software, new tire supplier. I'm thinking that is exactly what happened, but I do hope paddock insiders will ask the probing questions and report back to us!

How could Jorge possibly know enough, 12 months from now in mid-2015, to exercise a clause to jump from Yamaha to Ducati for 2016. So much about 2016 will remain unknown 12 months from now.

Im sure all the manufacturers will have tests with the 2016 spec stuff throughout the 2015 season. Lorenzo will have an ideea how the M1 is performing with the new tyres and electronics VS the others. So his opt-out clause makes perfect sense.

I've heard today from various insider members of the media that Jorge Lorenzo has confirmed he and Yamaha both have Opt-Out Clauses for the second year of the contract. So that just ratchets up the pressure on both sides to perform. Apparently both sides fully intend a two-year agreement, but intentions can whither in the face of frustration. It's hard to imagine Yamaha exercising their clause against the two-time champion (but there is Pol Espargaro waiting in the wings). It is Lorenzo's dream to stay with Yamaha his whole career (but Ducati beckons with an all-new GP15 and reportedly more money).

Reading between the lines of Lorenzo's and Jarvis statements, while typical say such things, the subtleties present really does sounds like it was taking a toll on the team relations and their focus. Also funny that Jarvis is "hopeful" that Lorenzo can gain his focus again, and Lorenzo's straight up says now I can.

if Jorge was going to sign before the end of the year. Honda option gone, even Ducati option was gone. Negotiating room was disappearing to almost nothing. Lin Jarvis is about winning, anything less from his racers and he seems to be the one to pile on the pressure. If Lorenzo had not been such a tough competitor and double champion, these talks may have fallen through, (at least that is what I am reading in the statements.) They, (Yamaha), are basing the decision on his past, (for damn good reason), and not his current form. Glad he has signed. I too hope he can focus 100% on the rest of the races this season. Actually hoping he wins a few races.

He doesn't seem like the guy to have around if you're struggling or slightly off form. Hopefully Jorge get's his mojo back sooner rather than needing an opt out clause. (from either party)

As unlikely as it sounds, I hope the opt out doesn't come back to bite Lorenzo otherwise he could find himself out of a ride AND out of sync with the top riders.