Jorge Lorenzo: MotoGP wildcard is useless if I’m not competitive

Jorge Lorenzo intimates he won't consider a MotoGP wildcard outing with Yamaha this season unless he can prove he is competitive

Jorge Lorenzo - Yamaha

Jorge Lorenzo says he won’t consider accepting a wildcard outing with Yamaha during the 2020 MotoGP World Championship unless he can prove he is competitive with the front-runners.

The triple MotoGP World Champion returned to Yamaha ahead of the 2020 season as its test rider, a mere three months after he retired from the sport on the back of an uncompetitive, injury-hampered season with Repsol Honda.

Getting his first miles on the Yamaha M1 during the Shakedown test at Sepang earlier in the month, Lorenzo joined the official pre-season test on the third and final day of running, setting the 20th fastest time. However, he was unable to get a chance on the 2020 Yamaha M1 as he’d hoped

“Unfortunately, for some reasons, Yamaha decided not to give me the new bike to try in the last afternoon," the Spaniard said. "They were thinking about it, but finally they decided not to let me try and, you know, this test was not 'secure' to do it.

“We arrived on time to do it, so that's a good thing. The bad thing is that we didn’t have the time or enough pieces to have one new bike for me.

“That would be interesting, to have a third or fourth opinion of the weak points and the good points that the new bike has."

Will Jorge Lorenzo wildcard during the 2020 MotoGP season?

With Yamaha hinting it is open to the prospect of Lorenzo riding a third factory M1 at one or more rounds this season, Lorenzo has revealed it is something he is considering… but only under certain conditions.

Indeed, the Spaniard – who won 44 of his 47 career MotoGP wins with Yamaha – says he will only participate if he is competitive enough to do so.

“For a wildcard we still need to speak and understand the options. It is a complex situation but for the moment we are little bit far from the fastest, so I’d like to be closer to understand and work out if it is worth it.

“[I need]to be competitive otherwise it is a little bit useless.”

Should Lorenzo wildcard many expect it to come at his home Catalunya MotoGP event, round eight of the 2020 MotoGP season. As well as being his local round, it takes place ahead of a one-day post-event test that features both race and test riders.

As such, a number of those test riders will get the chance to start Sunday’s race, just as Bradley Smith (Aprilia), Sylvain Guintoli (Suzuki) and Michele Pirro (Ducati) did in 2019.

That said, these riders are often charged with testing and evaluating new parts over a race weekend, rather than target a good result, meaning Lorenzo’s competitiveness over the event if unlikely to be of priority for Yamaha itself.