Yamaha Press Release: Lorenzo to Leave Yamaha at End of 2016

As widely predicted, Yamaha have officially announced they are parting ways with Jorge Lorenzo at the end of 2016. Though the press release speaks of "new racing challenges", the press release from Ducati announcing Lorenzo will be racing for them from next year should arrive within the hour.

The Yamaha press release appears below:


Gerno di Lesmo (Italy), 18th April 2016

Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. announces that its partnership with Jorge Lorenzo will be discontinued at the close of the 2016 MotoGP season, when Lorenzo will move on to new racing challenges.

Since Lorenzo joined the Yamaha Factory Racing Team in 2008, Lorenzo and Yamaha won three MotoGP World Championships (2010, 2012 and 2015), clinched 41 race wins and have been on the podium 99 times out of 141 races contested.

Yamaha is extremely grateful for Jorge's contributions to its racing successes and looks forward to sharing more memorable moments during the remaining 15 MotoGP rounds of 2016, their ninth season together.

Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. wishes Lorenzo the very best in his future racing endeavours and reconfirms the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team‘s full support on his campaign to achieve his fourth MotoGP title.

Having already reconfirmed Valentino Rossi for 2017-18, Yamaha will announce the future Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team riders‘ line-up in due course after securing the services of the second rider.

Round Number: 

Back to top


What happened to wednesday! I just finished the article predicting how the announce would go down and I refreshed the page too see it just happened. Exciting times for sure. 

I've always felt that the M1 and Lorenzo flattered each other a bit. The bike was originally developed around Rossi's, smooth style, so it suited Lorenzo's glassy technique from the start. I doubt he'd have had anywhere near the success on any other bike. But he seems to have timed this switch well. The Ducati now turns corners without attempting to kill it's rider, and it has great traction to go with its nuclear power. But I'm not sure Jorge will be a title contender on the Duc. People tend to underestimate just how good the M1 is, even when it's accepted to be the best bike out there. It's chassis and ultra friendly engine allowed Jorge to maximise his greatest strength, corner speed. It's a ballsy move by Jorge to leave a bike which suits him so well.

The M1 that Lorenzo has developed is a far cry from the point that he got onto the M1. His first championship on the Yamaha was a 800cc engine, different fuel tank capacity, and many other aspects about the bike were diferent. In 2011-2012 when Rossi went to Ducati the M1 was developed without Rossi's input whatsoever. Rossi and Lorenzo have very different riding styles also. To credit the way the bike was orginally developed is a bit short sided. 

He actually reverted back to the 2010 chassis mid way through 2011. In 2012 he won the championship, though deserved, was influenced by Stoners injuries and Hondas mistakes with Dani. Dani had the most wins in 2012.

That Jorge didn't develop the bike, of course it's a different beast to the M1 he started on, but it's almost in Yamaha's DNA to have balanced chassis before brute power. The same cannot be said of Honda or Ducati! Jorge may need to develop some new tricks to stay atc the front.

When Rossi went to Ducati from Yamaha he had managed 46 wins.... And now Lorenzo at 99 podiums at the time he announces the same.  Maybe someone can think of something that happens 93 times to keep an eye on.

I'll assume you're right but it felt like more! It is a strange coincidence though.

Maybe Rossi's comment about "You need to have balls to switch manufacturers" found some echo in Lorenzo's head, maybe he got itched and made the switch just to prove Valentino wrong, which of course, played into Rossi's game ;)

This is why as a sportsman you shouldn't value your achievements based on others though. 

Yamaha's history is out of Jorge's control. They didn't even have a podium the season before Rossi joined and when he left Honda he helped completely turn Yamaha around. Lorenzo was their next superstar winner but Rossi helped MAKE them winners again. 

I still think that may be his reason to move to Ducati. A chance at a piece of Ducati history. 

Maintaining good relations with Rossi was always about money for Yamaha -- and it paid off. He'll be a Yamaha embassador for the rest of his life and that's worth a lot of $$$ as has been pointed out in the pages of this excellent blog.



I would believe that if Valentino Rossi won more races on the Yamaha it will ultimately be beneficial to his own VR 46 brand of merchandise than to Yamaha. Rossi's popularity though still pretty high must have waned at least a little bit. The more he races and if the wins are not coming as they should, it would not be a great thing for Yamaha in terms of money. I can't wait to see how this season unfolds.

And if they fall for the trap of letting Rossi have any say in it.

They'll need an absolute top level rider and there's very few of them around, short of someone new coming through. (Zarco perhaps, younger Marquez?)

If they go back to their old habits and give Rossi veto they could have a few lean years.

It's recorded history he vetoed Stoner originally.

He also had a big say in his team mates prior to Lorenzo and was unhappy when Yamaha engaged in succession planning. Honestly he looks to be the worst possible team mate any rider could have, he will do you no favours if you're not a threat and will work against you internally and externally if you're competitive.