MotoGP: Yamaha promise Jorge Lorenzo full support

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Yamaha has assured double world 250 champion Jorge Lorenzo he will be given identical technical support to Valentino Rossi in 2008 after he made a solid start to his MotoGP career in Valencia.

Jorge Lorenzo’s debut year in MotoGP will be as Valentino Rossi’s Fiat Yamaha team-mate, but he will not be on the same tyres as the Italian, with Rossi switching from Michelin to Bridgestone.

Jorge Lorenzo will remain on Michelin tyres, but Fiat Yamaha boss Davide Brivio said the factory pair running out of separate pit boxes would have no impact on the support for the Spaniard.

Davide Brivio will have no involvement with Lorenzo’s team next season, acting only as Valentnio Rossi’s team manager, but he said: “We guarantee the same equipment, the same support and the best effort as far as Yamaha is concerned.”

Brivio said Jorge Lorenzo had been kept fully informed about the tyre developments in recent weeks, with his belief that in signing for Yamaha, he would get exactly the same technical package as Valentino Rossi.

“This tyre situation was unpredictable at the time we made the agreement with Jorge. We have discussed with his management and I think at the end of the day he is okay.

“As any normal rider he just wants to make sure that Michelin will be behind him. It’s important to say that Valentino will be on Bridgestone but Yamaha is still in a partnership with Michelin.

“We will continue the relationship with Michelin like normal. Valentino pushed for that and Yamaha discussed and agreed with him. Yamaha is confident in continuing to work with Michelin.

“It is a strange situation but Yamaha didn’t lose the confidence in Michelin, otherwise we would have tried to have changed everything.”

Jorge Lorenzo ended his first serious test on board a YZR-M1 in 1.33.588, which made him the best of the trio of riders moving up from the 250 class.

He was 0.4sec clear of fierce 250 rival Andrea Dovizioso and he said: “I’m really happy. I’m getting used to the bike more with every lap and I think this bike can be good for my riding style.

“The chassis seems really rigid like my Aprilia 250, so if you ride smoothly and precise then the lap time comes quite easy.”

Jorge Lorenzo is back on track next week in Sepang and he added: “I’m looking forward to that, because it is a faster track than Valencia where I’ll be able to learn more the sensation of the power. It will be difficult.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt