Jorge Lorenzo turns first Yamaha MotoGP laps since 2016

Jorge Lorenzo turns his first wheel as a Yamaha MotoGP rider for the first time since 2016 as he returns to the manufacturer as test rider

Jorge Lorenzo - Monster Yamaha [credit: Jorge Lorenzo Instagram]

Jorge Lorenzo has completed his first laps as Yamaha MotoGP rider during the final day of the shakedown test at Sepang ahead of a possible outing during official pre-season testing.

The Spaniard won his three MotoGP World Championships – and 44 of his career 47 wins – with the Yamaha team before switching to Ducati in 2017. An ill-fated switch to Honda in 2019 preceded his retirement from MotoGP race competition.

However, little more than two months later Lorenzo is back on MotoGP machinery in his role as test rider, making his official return in Yamaha colours at the conclusion of a three-day test in Malaysia.

Even so, it wasn’t a particularly active outing for Lorenzo, who didn’t make it out on track until the last of three days. He needed just three runs to get down into the 2m 02s, which compares to the 2m 00.478s lap he achieved in Malaysian MotoGP qualifying on the Repsol Honda.



Everything ready for the start of a new chapter of my life!. #motogp #sepangtest #thecomeback

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Lorenzo’s relative absence during the test has raised speculation he will be added to Yamaha’s roster at the upcoming official pre-season MotoGP test on February 7-9 (Friday-Sunday), much like Casey Stoner did, meaning he could share the same box as Valentino Rossi when the season officially kicks off.

Despite retiring from MotoGP, citing a number of injuries sustained over the last 18 months, Lorenzo made it clear he would be making a return to the paddock in some capacity, paving the way for a move to Yamaha despite only completing one year of his two-year Honda contract.

Though the likes of Stoner and Dani Pedrosa declined the opportunity to ride as wild-cards in their capacity as test riders for Ducati and KTM respectively, Yamaha has hinted it would be ‘open to the possibility’ of entering a third factory Yamaha M1 for Lorenzo should he want to.