New MotoGP Ducati rider Jorge Lorenzo feels more valued by his new team than he did by former employer Yamaha, where it felt like he was just an employee even after having won three world championships.
Team Ducati, who have not had a MotoGP world champion since Casey Stoner in 2007, signed up three-time MotoGP champion, Lorenzo, after he had spent nine years at Yamaha.
Going into this weekend’s opening race of the season in Qatar, Lorenzo told Autosport, what impressed him at Ducati was the large number of Ducati engineers on hand to assist him with anything which the same could not be said of his time at Yamaha.
"That's something I would have liked to change in Yamaha," said Lorenzo. "I used to see [Marc] Marquez's garage full of engineers. I asked for that but it never came.
"In Ducati, they treat me with a kind of admiration; in Yamaha, I felt just like any other employee. I could be an important piece of the thing, yeah, but in Ducati, they respect and admire me a lot.
"They know they hired me in order to develop a better machine and to take a step ahead in performance."
Lorenzo added what helps at Ducati is the hands-on approach that general manager and technical director Gigi Dall'Igna takes to handling things.
"Despite being a warm-blooded Italian, Gigi is cold, perfectionist and has a method," Lorenzo said. "He's a mix of German, Japanese and Italian. He's got a strong method and I think Ducati changed a lot since his arrival.
"The main difference from Yamaha is that Gigi is at a different level than the rest of the engineers, but you just can't see that because he's completely integrated into the group.
"When the rider comes in he and the rest are on their knees to listen to him. In Yamaha, the highest engineers don't have too much contact with work in the garage.
"Dall'Igna is a much closer person and that makes it possible to solve problems very quickly."
— Jorge Lorenzo (@lorenzo99) March 17, 2017