Jorge Lorenzo has ended speculation about his future by signing a new contract with Fiat Yamaha for 2010.
The Spaniard, who had been subject to mass speculation over a potential future with both Honda and Ducati, has agreed a one-year deal with Yamaha which will see him partner title rival Valentino Rossi in 2010.
Lorenzo had been seeking an improved pay offer to remain in MotoGP, with speculation initially suggesting that the 22-year-old would switch to Honda in a move bankrolled partly by Spanish telecommunications giant Telefonica. That door was closed however at Brno when HRC confirmed that they would not be pursuing an interest in the former 250cc champion.
Talks over a switch of Ducati then surfaced, with a reported figure of £13m on the table but the speculation is finally over, with Lorenzo delighted to sign a new deal with the constructor’s championship leaders.
“I am very happy!” said Lorenzo. “Today is a good day because I have decided to remain with the Yamaha Factory Team in 2010. It was a very important decision and that’s why I have had to take the last few weeks to make it, but I think that this is the best decision for me in this moment.
“I want to thank Yamaha because they have always done everything that they have promised, and I especially would like to say thank you to Lin Jarvis and Masao Furusawa.”
Lin Jarvis, Managing Director of Yamaha Motor Racing, added: “We are obviously delighted that Jorge has decided to stay at Yamaha for the next season and we hope that he will remain at Yamaha for many years to come.
“Jorge has shown his talent, his ability to learn and to compete at the highest level with many excellent performances in 2008 and 2009. We have no doubt that he has the ability and drive to become MotoGP World Champion and we are proud that he has decided to remain with Yamaha, despite having received some very serious approaches from some of our competitors.
“This timely decision now allows us to focus on the present championship, where our riders are currently first and second, and to make definitive plans for our 2010 MotoGP program.”