Reigning MotoGP world champion Jorge Lorenzo says having to share top billing with Valentino Rossi at Yamaha did not influence his decision to move to Ducati.
The Spaniard insists his shared status with his Italian team-mate was not a factor, because it never concerned him whether he was the clear number one in the paddock or not.
Nevertheless, he admitted that the increased status he will be granted in the development process at Ducati was a big draw.
“I was never worried about being the number one or number two, like I always said for me it was enough to have exactly the same parts or tools than my partner because I believe in my potential and for me that was enough,” Lorenzo said at the official press conference ahead of this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix.
“But of course it could be a different philosophy because Yamaha always make an evolution of the bike not only with the official riders but with the four riders of Yamaha, and probably in the future I will have more power create more the bike I want to ride. They will hear me with more focus in myself.”
Lorenzo said the decision to leave Yamaha was one of the toughest ones he’d ever had to make.
“It has been one of the most important and difficult decisions of my life, of my career, but at this moment it is still very far away, there is still 15 races remaining, so all my focus is on the present and on this championship,” he said.
“I really want to fight to the end to win my fourth MotoGP world title, so at this moment I am just thinking in blue and I will try to get the best results in every race with this team and try to win the championship.
“Now all my future is solved and tomorrow is the Friday and if you don’t have the mind really focused on a MotoGP it can be even dangerous, so I have to be focused to get the best result and it is still very far away to think about the next future.”
Lorenzo once again said the key factor in his move to Ducati was the opportunity to take on a fresh challenge and keep up his motivation to succeed.
“I think [there are] many reasons, but the biggest one has been my motivation – the challenge to try to win with another bike and the challenge for me after so many years in MotoGP to keep my maximum effort every day,” he said.
“I feel very grateful to Yamaha for all these years and especially with Lin [Jarvis] because he signed me when I was just 18-years-old and we won many world titles together. I think probably without Yamaha I wouldn’t be three-time world champion of MotoGP and they mean a lot to me.
“The main thing is the motivation of a new challenge to work with another bike and to have this direction in my mind.”