The last time that he re-signed with Yamaha, Jorge Lorenzo later lamented that perhaps he'd done so too hastily. Even those around him felt that Lorenzo didn't give Honda's offer for his services a full sussing out, and at times Lorenzo admitted that as well.
Times have changed. Jorge Lorenzo is still one of the top riders in the world, his stock hasn't gone down at all. It's just that the stock of other riders has risen dramatically.
Marc Marquez is undoubtedly the best MotoGP rider in the world today. Marquez is young, fast and fearless. He is fully tenured into the portion of a young rider's career when they can basically do nothing wrong. Big crashes, small crashes nor even bad math stopped Marquez from ripping the title out of thin air.
Repsol Honda already have two Spanish MotoGP riders. If HRC were to let Pedrosa go and hire Lorenzo, the undertones of that move might not be met with glee by Marquez and his camp. He wants--and deserves--to be the big dog in the Repsol Honda garage. HRC probably won't do anything to endanger that.
Another stumbling block in Honda hiring Lorenzo for the Repsol team is Lorenzo's current salary. Lorenzo is one of the highest paid riders in the world, but Honda already has one of those on their team. Honda can ultimately afford to do anything it really wants to do--see the RCV1000R project--but this is not the way things are done at HRC today. Can they afford to hire Lorenzo and the amount basically be little more than a rounding error on some budget somewhere? Sure. Will they? Doubtful.
Ducati could hire Lorenzo. But unless there is a drastic return to competitiveness by the Italian bikes that would mean that Lorenzo would give up two seasons of his competitive life to be a development rider. Even for a gigantic pot of money this seems unlikely at this point in his career.
"We have started discussions with Yamaha," Lorenzo repeated last night. "My priority is to stay with Yamaha, I said that last year. There are a lot of things to consider but at this moment what is most important to me is that the bike is working good. But also my loyalty to Yamaha is important."
Lorenzo has options, but if his desire is to race on a bike and a team that will challenge for a world championship then it seems that the most likely outcome for him will be a new contract at Yamaha.