Lorenzo to wildcard for Yamaha in 2020?
The Iwata factory have said they’re “open to the possibility” of the five-time World Champion returning to race action
After announcing his retirement from MotoGP™ in November at the 2019 Valencia finale, Jorge Lorenzo has returned to Yamaha Factory Racing as a test rider.
The news came on 30 January as the Iwata factory and the five-time World Champion confirmed they are back working together, with Lorenzo set to take part in the Sepang shakedown test on 2-4 February. But is a spectacular return to racing on the cards for Yamaha’s three-time Champion?
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Well, the Japanese giants aren’t ruling it out. A Yamaha statement said: “So far, no wildcard rides are planned for Lorenzo in 2020, but Yamaha is open to the possibility, should he decide to race again.” But will we really see Lorenzo back racing on board a Yamaha?
It’s a sight that will get any MotoGP™ fans’ senses tingling, and it’s usual to see factory test riders wildcarding during the season. Bradley Smith (Aprilia), Michele Pirro (Ducati) and Sylvain Guintoli (Suzuki) all partook in at least three wildcards last season, but Lorenzo’s career-long rival Dani Pedrosa – who also announced his retirement from racing a year before Lorenzo – hasn’t wildcarded for KTM.
“I’m very happy with the decision to join the Yamaha Factory Test Team. I was always planning on staying involved in MotoGP and returning to the paddock, and I think this is a suitable role for me,” commented Lorenzo. “I know the team and the M1 well. The Yamaha really suited my riding style, and it will be very interesting to ’meet up with my old bike again.”
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???????? “I’m very happy with the decision to join the Yamaha Factory Test Team. I was always planning on staying involved in MotoGP and returning to the paddock, and I think this is a suitable role for me. I know the team and the M1 well. The Yamaha really suited my riding style, and it will be very interesting to ‘meet up with my old bike again’. Returning to Yamaha brings with it some good memories. We secured many podiums and victories, and three titles together, so we know where our strengths lie. I want to thank Yamaha for this opportunity, because this allows me to do what I love – riding motorbikes and pushing the limit – whilst enjoying a slightly calmer lifestyle than I did in previous years. I’m very motivated to get to work and can’t wait to start riding. I want to do my best for Yamaha’s future, and I hope my riding experience will be helpful to Yamaha’s engineers and riders to bring the title back to Yamaha.” ———————————————————————— ???????? “Estoy muy contento de unirme al equipo de pruebas de Yamaha. Desde que tomé la decisión de retirarme siempre estuve planeando involucrarme en MotoGP y regresar al paddock, y creo que este es un papel que puede ser adecuado para mí. Conozco el equipo y a la M1 muy bien. La Yamaha realmente se adaptaba a mi estilo de pilotaje y será muy interesante reencontrarme con mi “vieja moto". Regresar a Yamaha me trae buenos recuerdos, conseguimos muchos podios, victorias y tres títulos juntos, así que sabemos dónde están nuestras fortalezas. Quiero agradecer a Yamaha por esta oportunidad, porque me permite hacer lo que amo: Pilotar motos y superar el límite, mientras disfruto de un estilo de vida un poco más tranquilo que en los últimos 18 años. Estoy muy motivado por empezar a trabajar y estoy impaciente por pilotar la moto. Quiero lo mejor para el futuro de Yamaha, así que espero que mi experiencia sea útil para los ingenieros y pilotos de Yamaha para devolver el título a la fábrica”. ———————————————————————— #yamahamotogp #yamaham1 #teamyamaha #valentinorossi #maverickvinales #fabioquartararo #francomorbidelli #lugano
We now wait and see if Lorenzo and Yamaha line-up a wildcard appearance in 2020. In the meantime, you will be able to see the number 99 back on the front of Yamaha at the Sepang shakedown test. Track footage and photo galleries will be available on motogp.com as 2020 revs into life.