Reigning MotoGP world champion Jorge Lorenzo will make the switch from Yamaha to Ducati for the 2017 and 2018 MotoGP seasons.
Rumors began circulating before the MotoGP season had even started that Ducati had prepared a highly lucrative offer for Jorge Lorenzo, backed by the combined finances of longtime sponsor tobacco giant Phillip Morris and Ducati owners Audi, both of whom are keen to see the team return to winning races and championships.
The deal was confirmed last week after a nearly simultaneous statements from Yamaha and Ducati. Often perceived to not yet have achieved the level of greatness attained by some of his peers despite five world title across two classes, the move comes as Jorge Lorenzo attempts to cement his legacy by joining the very exclusive list of riders who have won premiership class titles for more than one manufacturer.
If Jorge Lorenzo could win on the Ducati he would be entering hallowed ground inhabited only by Geoff Duke, Giacomo Agostini, Eddie Lawson, Casey Stoner and his arch-nemesis Valentino Rossi.
Even better for the 28 year old, it would give him an opportunity to do something that current teammate Valentino Rossi was unable to do – to take Ducati to title glory, something they haven’t experienced in nearly a decade. Ducati last won the MotoGP world title in 2007 with Casey Stoner. Their last race win was in 2010 at Phillip Island meaning the last 94 MotoGP races have been win by either Honda or Yamaha.