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Jorge Lorenzo gets a Yamaha Wildcard for Catalunya MotoGP

The Spartan will contest his home round of the MotoGP championship aboard his familiar front the Yamaha M1

Jorge Lorenzo - Yamaha

YAMAHA has officially confirmed that Jorge Lorenzo will contest the Catalunya MotoGP event as a wildcard for the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team.

The announcement comes after weeks of speculation as to whether the five-time world champion would compete this year or continue in his role as test and reserve rider.

Lorenzo retired officially last November, mid-way through what was supposed to be a two year deal with the Respol Honda outfit. It was after a torrid season as Marc Marquez’ teammate though, which saw Lorenzo languishing in 19th by the end of the season, that he officially announced his retirement from the sports.

It wasn’t long though before rumours began to swirl regarding the Spaniard and a shock return to the Factory Yamaha camp, where he and long-time rival, Valentino Rossi, had some battles on and off the track.

The outing in Catalunya will be Lorenzo’s first time back on Yamaha machinery since the Valencia MotoGP round in 2016. From there, Lorenzo moved to Ducati for a two-season spell with the factory team before moving to Repsol for the 2019 season.

Jorge Lorenzo - Yamaha

Did Jorge Lorenzo retire just to leave Repsol Honda?

Less than three months announcing he was to turn his back on the sport of MotoGP, Jorge Lorenzo was already back in a contract as test rider for the Yamaha team. There are some trains of thought that Lorenzo took ‘retirement’ as a way of circumnavigating the Respol Honda contract he was bound by – and which still had another season to run.

The return to riding, and his old team, wasn’t a decision that weighed heavily on Honda Team Manager, Alberto Puig, who said in and interview with Crash.net:

“We have to take a simple look at the situation … We had a two-year contract with Lorenzo until the end of 2020. We didn't break that contract.”

“But when the driver comes to us and says that he wants to stop, that he wants to take his physical condition into account and no longer run any risk of injury if he then tells us that he can't find a feeling for this bike, so he has no motivation , then we can only meet his wishes and end the cooperation.”