After finishing third in the 2016 MotoGP season, you would be forgiven for thinking that former world champion Jorge Lorenzo’s mind wasn’t exactly on the task at hand. In fact, Yamaha boss Lin Jarvis has confirmed that his Spanish rider’s move to Ducati in 2017 more than likely disturbed his momentum throughout his final season with them.
Lorenzo’s move to Ducati was announced early in the season and therefore he spent the majority of the year as an ‘outgoing’ Yamaha rider and while the switch would not have been at the forefront of his mind every weekend, it would have had some effect.
"The fact that Jorge decided to move early in the season, it's difficult to say, to quantify and judge what effect that had on his season but, definitely, it is a distraction," he explained to Autosport.
"There's no doubt about it because maybe you still have 95% of your thought on the job at hand but there's 5% thinking about the future, considering the Ducati, trying to see what it's going to do. I can't say what direct influence it had but it's definitely more easy for the team to manage a full season when you know that your pilots are going to be here also for the future, and I think [it's easier] for the riders.”
Jorge will partner Andrea Dovizioso at Ducati in 2017 while Maverick Vinales has made the switch from Suzuki to Yamaha to partner Valentino Rossi.