It’s not official yet but according to Ducati Noticias, a Spanish motorsport media site, Lorenzo is taking Ducati’s offer seriously and he could have already made an agreement with Ducati MotoGP to switch over in a two year deal from 2017. The site reported that his representative flew to Austin on a very short notice and the trip could have been made so Albert Valera could be with Lorenzo to hash out the final contract details.
So what’s in it for Jorge Lorenzo?
Of course a large paycheck helps. Yamaha is said to be paying him around €7 million per season but they are willing to offer him at most €10 million annually. Ducati was said to have offered Lorenzo €12 million per season on a two year contract if he does switch over. Also, if Lorenzo does ride for Ducati he will have the chance to work with ex-Aprilia engineer Gigi Dall'Igna, the technical chief of Ducati Corse. Gigi and Lorenzo worked together at both Derbi and Aprilia where he managed to secure his two 250cc titles.
Who will Lorenzo Replace?
If he does make the switch from Yamaha to Ducati, either Andrea Dovizioso or Andrea Iannone will need to be let go. Sure Iannone crashed in round one at Qatar this year and he did take out teammate Dovizioso in Argentina last week but publications are pegging him to be the one that stays.
An announcement should be coming soon because Lorenzo needs to give Yamaha an answer no later than May's Mugello round. Maybe something will be said at the United States GP this weekend or the Jerez round on April 23rd.