The 2017 MotoGP season hasn’t started yet and the atmosphere is already hot. Once free from the contractual obligations with Yamaha, Jorge Lorenzo takes his revenge and reveals spicy details in an interview with the Spanish Sports newspaper Marca.
Speaking about the Japanese Manufacturer he raced with for 9 seasons and won 3 word titles, Lorenzo declared: “Yamaha has had a rider who is an icon of our sport. He is very strong in terms of media coverage and thanks to him they sold many bikes. It’s not an easy situation to manage when we both were fighting for the title. I understood that they had to take care of their diamond, which was so valuable to sell more bikes. If you like it or not, despite many years have passed since he won his last title, he is still very strong with the media”.
The Number 99, now a Ducati rider, warns Maverick Vinales, Rossi’s new team mate: “For these reasons, it’s difficult that two riders can have the same treatment in case of extreme conditions like the title chase. I always said that I understood this game ”.
Not happy with these declarations, Lorenzo spoke also about Yamaha’s Sports Director Massimo “Maio” Meregalli , who recently declared that the atmosphere in Yamaha is much more relaxed now that Lorenzo has left. “It think this was an unhappy statement”, said the Spaniard, “For one reason or the other, he was more on Rossi’s side, so now that I left, he made such a declaration.”
Merigalli is a former World Supersport and Superbike rider himself. He ran the Yamaha WSBK team and came to MotoGP with American rider Ben Spies.
Regarding the last pre-season test and the Qatar opening round, the Ducati rider said: “The target is to improve mine and Ducati’s results. I aim at winning more races and as a balance of the winter season I can say that we are very competitive in some tracks. But in order to be consistently fast in every circuit and to be able to fight for the title we need to finalize several things or count on the rivals’ mistakes. At the moment we need to keep on working.”