Yamaha ready for team orders to help Jorge Lorenzo

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Yamaha will have no hesitation in implementing controversial team orders if required to help Jorge Lorenzo successfully defend the MotoGP world title in 2011.

The Spaniard trails Honda rival Casey Stoner by a massive 44-points with only four races remaining and Yamaha management have confirmed that if necessary they will ask Ben Spies to help Lorenzo in the final phase of the season.

Yamaha boss Lin Jarvis told MCN: “There are still some races to go and it is not like we are six points adrift with only two races to go. We need to see how the season pans out and I would hope by the last two races of the year we are still mathematically in the hunt to fight and then let’s see what we need to do in that moment.

“Ben and Jorge are both team players, so I think we have a very good relationship between these two riders this year, unlike perhaps in the past. These riders are not competing against each other in the championship and the harmony that we have could be an advantager.

“What is important is that the team wins and we give our riders the maximum effort and if one rider mathematically has no chance to win the championship and the other does, I think it is only reasonable they should help.”

Team orders are frequently used in Formula One but it is a highly contentious issue, with fans angered that race results are manipulated.

But Jarvis added: “We’ve seen the situation in Formula One recently where they’ve cancelled the ban on team orders, which personally I agree with. In my opinion the team should have every right to decide the strategy as it sees fit and I don’t think it is for the public to decide what is the strategy of a manufacturer and a team.”

Ben Spies said Yamaha management had not even spoken him about the prospect of team orders ahead of last weekend’s Motorland Aragon race and he said: “For me there’s been no team orders. We saw that at Indy when I passed Jorge. In Misano, Dani (Pedrosa) was able to pass Casey at the end and that’s racing and the way it should be.

“When a championship is won because somebody let somebody else beat them then I don’t like it so much. But I haven’t heard anything and I don’t plan on riding any differently. Whoever is in front of me I’ll be trying to pass them.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt