Rossi: Lorenzo can be quick on Honda, Ducati talk surprising

Valentino Rossi says Jorge Lorenzo should stick to his Repsol Honda opportunity rather than be looking around for a return to Ducati, as rumoured

VALENTINO ROSSI has expressed his surprise at the revelation Jorge Lorenzo is reportedly scouting out a possibly shock return to Ducati for the 2020 MotoGP season.

Ahead of the Austrian MotoGP, Jack Miller sent the paddock into something of a media frenzy when he dropped the bombshell that Lorenzo has emerged on the radar – seemingly chasing his Pramac Ducati – and that is the real reason he hasn’t been able to put pen to paper on a 2020 MotoGP deal.

Currently on the sidelines following an injury to his back during the Dutch MotoGP in June, Lorenzo has nonetheless been busy behind the scenes it would seem to consider his options in the wake of a dismal start to his career with Repsol Honda.

The three-time World Champion was tipped to run Marc Marquez close on the RC213V after some positive times in testing, but the reality has been far different. 

What did Valentino Rossi have to say?

Regardless, Rossi – who formed a bitter rivalry with Lorenzo during the six years they spent partnered at Yamaha – believes Lorenzo needs to give more time to his Honda endeavour rather than commit to another switch so soon.

“For sure it's a surprise for everybody to hear about the Ducati. If you speak about the results, it has some sense because Jorge have a lot of problems with the Honda and looks like last year he was strong with the Ducati. 

“After he had some crashes, bad luck or injuries but he arrived at a good speed. So, from this point of view it makes sense. But I don’t know if it's true. 

“Anyway Lorenzo is in factory Honda and I think he can ride this bike in some way, maybe he has to modify something and I think he was also very, very unlucky because especially the first injury with a flat track bike before the first test, that was a disaster for him because he arrive already injured and that moment of the season is crucial because you can have six days for ride the bike without the pressure of a race weekend. 

“And he doesn’t make the test and after when you arrive at the race weekend everything is more difficult because you don’t have time, you have to push. 

“Then every time he did some mistake he crashed and was injured more, so it's a difficult situation at this moment but he is in the factory Honda team and with a bit more time a bit more luck he can be competitive.

A power play by a frustrated Jack Miller

Miller’s words, whilst no doubt irking Ducati, are likely to have come from a place of frustration for the Australian, who told the media only a week ago that he believed the delay to be down to sorting paperwork. 

However, on discovery this is not the case, he’s thrown the rumours out to the media in a move that could at best force Ducati to move definitively or, at worst, freeze him out entirely...

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