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Jorge Lorenzo returns to MotoGP as Yamaha test rider

Jorge Lorenzo

Bengaluru, January 30: Three-time MotoGP world champion Jorge Lorenzo, who had called time on his career after the end of last season, has decided to made a surprise return to the paddock with his old team Yamaha as a test rider.

The Spaniard will join the Yamaha Factory Racing Test Team programme with the aim to boost MotoGP development during the 2020 FIM World Championship season.

Starting from the MotoGP shakedown test, to be held in Sepang, Malaysia, from February 2 to 4 February, Lorenzo will ride the YZR-M1. He will also take part in other official tests and some private Yamaha tests this year.

The 32-year-old will be supported in his search for innovation by Silvano Galbusera, who will be the crew chief for him in the Yamaha Factory Racing Test Team.

Happy decision

Happy decision

"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," said Lorenzo.

"I know the team and the M1 well. The Yamaha really suited my riding style, and it'll be very interesting to meet up with my old bike again," added Lorenzo who won all his three MotoGP world titles (2010, 2012 and 2015) with Yamaha.

Stats speak for himself

Stats speak for himself

So far, no wild card rides are planned for Lorenzo in 2020, but the grapevine is that Yamaha is open to the possibility, should he decide to race again.

The stats speak for himself -- 18 seasons, three MotoGP World Championships, two 250cc world title, 68 wins, 152 podiums, 69 pole positions and 37 fastest laps: that is Lorenzo, one of the true greats of the modern day Grand Prix racing.

Ducati switch

Ducati switch

Lorenzo had two difficult seasons after his final world title with Yamaha in 2015. In 2016, he could finish only third in what was to be his last last season with Yamaha.

He then made a eminently forgettable switch to Ducati in 2017 where he had the ignominy of failing to win a single race for the first time in the premier class.

Honda challenge

Honda challenge

The 2019 FIM MotoGP World Championship season was a different challenge for the Spaniard as he partnered world champion Marc Marquez at Repsol Honda.

Injuries kept recurring and broken vertebrae interrupted the season, necessitating a long recovery before he decided to call it a day from the sport.

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Story first published: Thursday, January 30, 2020, 15:46 [IST]
Other articles published on Jan 30, 2020
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