lorenzo moved to ducati

 

MotoGP riders are a unique bunch. Not everyone can ride around a track at 300km/hr. And even fewer can do it for a living.

For an outsider, it’s hard to figure out what goes on in the mind of a MotoGP rider. For 18 Sundays a year, these riders line up on the grid and try to go as fast as they can, for one simple reason - crossing the finish line before the other guy. With such a disciplined approach to their profession where a tiny mistake could cost these riders the race and sometimes their lives, every decision they take requires careful analysis.

So even before the worst kept secret in MotoGp was confirmed on April 18, many wondered about Lorenzo’s decision to side with Ducati.    

Yamaha to Ducati – What was Lorenzo Thinking?

Jorge Lorenzo’s recent switch has created frenzy among all MotoGP fans and the media. Everyone has their own opinion on this latest development and how it would translate for both Yamaha and Ducati in future. But before anyone gazes into their crystal ball and makes a prediction, it is important to look at Lorenzo’s history with Yamaha.

Lorenzo at Yamaha:

Racing the Yamaha YZR-M1 since 2008, Lorenzo has had quite a run at the Grand Prix. Take a look:

Year

Team

Position

2008

Fiat Yamaha Team

4th

2009

Fiat Yamaha Team

2nd

2010

Fiat Yamaha Team

1st

2011

Yamaha Factory Racing

2nd

2012

Yamaha Factory Racing

1st

2013

Yamaha Factory Racing

2nd

2014

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP

3rd

2015

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP

1st

 

With such an impressive track record, fans and critics alike are wondering what could have caused him to make a switch now. Here are a few theories making the rounds:

Taking on a Challenge - Lorenzo sees Ducati as a new challenge. In the Spaniard’s own words, Ducati presented him with a ‘challenge to try and win with another bike’. He adds that he felt the need for ‘this new challenge to get the motivation to work as hard as (he) did till now.’ This might be one of the more probable reasons for the three time MotoGP World Champion’s move into the unknown – to take on a new challenge and keep the fire burning.

Rivalry with Rossi The Rossi Lorenzo rivalry has received plenty of media attention over the years. Lorenzo joined Yamaha as a fresh-faced rookie at a time when Rossi was already an established name for the Japanese giant. Several allegations and exchange of harsh words on the tracks later, the two continue to harbor negative sentiments towards each other. They have shared the same garage, which has only fueled their rivalry.  This has been cited as one of the reasons why Lorenzo finally decided to switch.

Money Matters - As he moves to Ducati, Lorenzo becomes the highest paid rider in MotoGP. He’ll be earning 25 million Euros ($28 million) for his two year contract. This is a significant jump from his previous $10 million a year salary. Some suggest that it was the money that made the decision for him.

‘Yamaha was and always will be Rossi’s home’ - Diehard Rossi fans are talking about how Yamaha favors yellow over red.  Even though the Italian and the Spaniard formed one of the strongest duos MotoGP has ever seen, there was barely any harmony among them. Some people might even go on to say that whenever Lorenzo won over Rossi, the team’s fans were happy that Yamaha took the championship, but it wasn’t with the rider they wanted.

Ducati on the Rise - One of the plausible reasons why Lorenzo decided to make this move could be Ducati’s rising stock. Lin Jarvis, the Managing Director of Yamaha Motor Racing addressed this possibility saying that ‘the Ducati is currently a very competitive bike, so it is less daunting to make a change’ for Lorenzo. Since Luigi Dall’lgna came on board as Ducati’s new General Manager in 2013, the Italian motorcycling giant has seen some return of form.  The 2014 season saw Andrea Dovizioso of Ducati finish with two podiums, a pole in Japan and several top fives. The 2015 season was an almost unbelievable start for Ducati with Dovizioso taking three successive second place finishes, proving that Ducati was back. With Ducati on the rise, combined with the mighty Ducati Desmosedici GP, makes Lorenzo’s move seem like a calculated decision.

The reason behind Lorenzo’s decision is anyone’s guess. Even though nobody knows for sure, outsiders can only speculate. On a relatively more exciting note, the stage is now set, with all eyes on Lorenzo, Ducati and the 2017 MotoGP World Championship. It is surely going to be one amazing season that all MotoGP riders and fans wouldn’t want to miss.