Lorenzo needed “a new challenge”

A change is as good as a holiday for Jorge Lorenzo, who said his decision to leave Movistar Yamaha for Ducati was motivated by a desire for a change in his MotoGP career.

The three-time premier class champion has signed a two-year deal with Italian manufacturer Ducati for the 2017 and 2018 seasons, despite being very much in the running for yet another world championship with his current outfit.

“As you all know next season I won’t be with Yamaha. I felt I needed a change, a new challenge in my career, set new goals for me to try to achieve and keep my level of ambition at the maximum,” Lorenzo said.

“I have only words of gratitude to the Yamaha family because of all the moments we lived through together. I achieved much more than I’d ever dreamt.

“What will happen in the future is unpredictable but from here on I just want to enjoy these 15 races that I have left with Yamaha to try to ratify the World Championship. This is right now my only target.”

Looking ahead to more immediate concerns, Lorenzo is excited about his return to Jerez, the venue that kickstarted a four-race winning streak for him last year.

He also recorded MotoGP victories at the track in 2010 and 2011.

“Jerez is one of my favourite circuits in the world because of the special lay-out of the track and the atmosphere and the people hugging us from the grandstands,” he said.

“Last season we kicked off with a good set of four victories in Jerez after a difficult start so hopefully this year we can repeat such a great result.”

Lorenzo currently lies in second place in the standings, trailing Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez by 21 points.