Over the past few weeks, the motorcycle racing press has been set ablaze by the rumors of Jorge Lorenzo's future. The talented Mallorcan's contract with the Fiat Yamaha team runs out at the end of this year, and although Yamaha have offered Lorenzo a new contract - rumored to be around the 3.5 million euro mark - Lorenzo has been holding out for more. He has some very serious leverage to help his side of the argument: Lorenzo says that all of the current manufacturers have offered him a contract.
The only realistic prospect for Lorenzo is of course Honda - Ducati is too much of a risk, and the chances of Suzuki meeting Lorenzo's rumored 5 million euro salary demand are very slim indeed, given the somewhat parlous state of the factory's MotoGP program. The elephant - nay, the brontosaurus - in the room in any discussion of a Lorenzo move to Honda is of course the fate of Dani Pedrosa. The two Spanish title rivals have been bitter enemies since a series of incidents during the 2005 250cc Championship season, and the prospect of the two men on the same team has usually been seen as almost impossible.
Things were made a little easier between the two after Lorenzo fired his long-time manager Dani Amatriain at the end of last season, as the rivalry between Amatriain and Pedrosa's manager Alberto Puig was even more intense than that between the two riders. But now, according to GPOne.com, a solution has been found by HRC which would help remove any last obstacles to securing the services of both Lorenzo and Pedrosa.
The idea would be for Jorge Lorenzo to join the Repsol Honda team, but to split the team into two separate parts, each with its own manager. Unsurprisingly, Alberto Puig would manage the Pedrosa half of the garage, but the big surprise comes in the name of person selected to manage Lorenzo's half of the team. GPOne is saying that Aprilia boss Giampiero Sacchi, currently manager of the Aprilia World Superbike racing team, is in talks with HRC to run Lorenzo, as part of a wider cooperation between the two factories. Sacchi and Lorenzo already know each other well, as Sacchi managed the Derbi team that Lorenzo made his debut in at the tender age of 15. With a name like Giampiero Sacchi at the helm, Lorenzo would have faith in receiving equitable treatment inside the team.
Speaking after the race at the Sachsenring, Lorenzo refused to be drawn on his future, saying only, "the most important thing is to be in a good team with a good bike." When asked about Yamaha, he told reporters, "I don't know what Yamaha wants. I know what I want." This saga still has some way to run yet.