While much of MotoGP fans attentions are still focused on what happened in the Argentina GP, and what’s happening in the aftermath of what is now known as the “TermasClash”, other things are happening in the background and may provoke substantial changes in the MotoGP paddock.
One of those things is negotiations for new rider contracts.
Three-time MotoGP World Champion Jorge Lorenzo, in his second year racing for Ducati factory team, is one rider that seems to be negotiating his future far away from his current team, and the latest news is that Suzuki has targeted Lorenzo as a rider for the Ecstar Suzuki team.
Apparently, Suzuki lost patience with Andrea Iannone, the fiery Italian failing to deliver the results the team thought he could deliver when they picked him from Ducati in 2016.
So, in 2019, Davide Brivio, Ecstar Suzuki team manager, and the rest of Suzuki Racing department, are looking to join Jorge Lorenzo and the Suzuki GSX-RR prototype, in hopes the Spanish rider gets better results comparing to Iannone.
Suzuki believes that Lorenzo riding style will be a good match to the GSX-RR characteristics, and they are willing to do an extra effort to convince the Ducati rider to change team and join fellow compatriot Alex Rins – who got a well-deserved podium in Argentina! – at the Ecstar Suzuki factory team in 2019.
And this might also be a good way out for Jorge Lorenzo, who since joining Ducati from Yamaha, continues to struggle onboard the Desmosedici GP18 just like he struggled last year.
With Ducati focused on retaining Andrea Dovizioso from 2019 onwards and not accepting to pay Lorenzo the same amount they do now – reportedly 12 million euros a year (around RM57.310.027) -, Lorenzo is probably thinking to accept Suzuki contract offer.
Jorge Lorenzo knows that Suzuki won’t offer him a contract with values near what he’s getting at Ducati right now, but being the secondary rider on the team, as it’s happening in Ducati, isn’t what Lorenzo wants, so a move to Suzuki, even with a pay cut, might offer the Spanish 30-year old rider what he needs to be competitive again and fight for the wins.
The next few races are crucial in what happens next, but time is running out for Jorge Lorenzo to deliver results for the Ducati factory team, and Suzuki won’t be able to wait much longer to know Jorge Lorenzo’s answer to their offer.